Review of North Island eel sustainability measures for 1 October 2018

Closing Date:
Contact: Fisheries Management

Update – 19 September 2018

Minister's decisions

Following consultation, the Minister of Fisheries has made decisions on sustainability measures for the following eel stocks:

  • shortfin eels (Anguilla australis) in Quota Management Areas SFE 20 to SFE 23
  • longfin eels (Anguilla dieffenbachia) in Quota Management Areas LFE 20 to LFE 23.

These decisions relate to Total Allowable Catches (TACs), non-commercial allowances, and Total Allowable Commercial Catches (TACCs) for the fishing year beginning 1 October 2018.

The Minister's decision letter provides the details of, and reasons for, each of his decisions for eel stocks (as well as other fish stocks under the related consultation).
Download the:

Note, personal and commercially sensitive information has been removed from the submissions.

A summary of the Minister's decisions is in the following table.

Area

Change

Decision summary

North Island longfin eel (tuna)

Northern North Island (LFE 20)

  • Reduce the TAC from 39 to 34 tonnes.
  • Set the TACC at 14 tonnes.
  • Maintain the allowance for customary Māori fishing at 10 tonnes.
  • Maintain the allowance for recreational fishing at 8 tonnes.
  • Maintain the allowance for other sources of mortality to the stock caused by fishing at 2 tonnes.

Waikato (LFE 21)

  • Reduce the TAC from 60 to 51 tonnes.
  • Set the TACC at 23 tonnes.
  • Maintain the allowance for customary Māori fishing at 16 tonnes.
  • Maintain the allowance for recreational fishing at 10 tonnes.
  • Maintain the allowance for other sources of mortality to the stock caused by fishing at 2 tonnes.

East coast North Island (LFE 22)

  • Reduce the TAC from 34 to 26 tonnes.
  • Set the TACC at 13 tonnes.
  • Maintain the allowance for customary Māori fishing at 6 tonnes.
  • Maintain the allowance for recreational fishing at 5 tonnes.
  • Maintain the allowance for other sources of mortality to the stock caused by fishing at 2 tonnes.

West coast North Island (LFE 23)

  • Reduce the TAC from 34 to 30 tonnes.
  • Set the TACC at 5 tonnes.
  • Maintain the allowance for customary Māori fishing at 14 tonnes.
  • Maintain the allowance for recreational fishing at 9 tonnes.
  • Maintain the allowance for other sources of mortality to the stock caused by fishing at 2 tonnes.

North Island shortfin eel (tuna) – no change

Northern North Island (SFE 20)

  • Maintain the TAC at 148 tonnes.
  • Maintain the TACC at 86 tonnes.
  • Maintain the allowance for customary Māori fishing at 30 tonnes.
  • Maintain the allowance for recreational fishing at 28 tonnes.
  • Maintain the allowance for other sources of mortality to the stock caused by fishing at 4 tonnes.

Waikato (SFE 21)

  • Maintain the TAC at 181 tonnes.
  • Maintain the TACC at 134 tonnes.
  • Maintain the allowance for customary Māori fishing at 24 tonnes.
  • Maintain the allowance for recreational fishing at 19 tonnes.
  • Maintain the allowance for other sources of mortality to the stock caused by fishing at 4 tonnes.

East coast North Island (SFE 22)

  • Maintain the TAC at 121 tonnes.
  • Maintain the TACC at 94 tonnes.
  • Maintain the allowance for customary Māori fishing at 14 tonnes.
  • Maintain the allowance for recreational fishing at 11 tonnes.
  • Maintain the allowance for other sources of mortality to the stock caused by fishing at 4 tonnes.

West coast North Island (SFE 23)

  • Maintain the TAC at 36 tonnes.
  • Maintain the TACC at 23 tonnes.
  • Maintain the allowance for customary Māori fishing at 6 tonnes.
  • Maintain the allowance for recreational fishing at 5 tonnes.
  • Maintain the allowance for other sources of mortality to the stock caused by fishing at 2 tonnes.

The Minister has also decided to progress an additional review of New Zealand's longfin eel fishery and its management across all of New Zealand during 2018/19 to support increasing abundance.

Background to consultation

Fisheries New Zealand sought feedback from tangata whenua and stakeholders on a review of sustainability settings for North Island freshwater eels:

  • shortfin eels (Anguilla australis) in Quota Management Areas SFE 20 to SFE 23
  • longfin eels (Anguilla dieffenbachia) in Quota Management Areas LFE 20 to LFE 23.

This review was informed by a new scientific stock assessment, completed in 2017 and reviewed through Fisheries New Zealand's science working group process.

The assessment is based on:

  • estimates of relative abundance of longfin and shortfin eels in the fished areas of each Quota Management Area
  • annual recruitment of elvers
  • assessment of the amount of available eel habitat commercially fished (longfin eels only). 

What was proposed?

Shortfin eels (SFE 20 to SFE 23)

The only proposed option was status quo (no change). This is because, based on the best available information, the current sustainability controls are allowing numbers of shortfin eels to increase.

Longfin eels (LFE 20 to LFE 23)

Two options were proposed for each LFE stock:

  • Option 1: Status quo (no change), or
  • Option 2: Reduce the total allowable catch by 15% and the total allowable commercial catch by 32%. No proposed changes to the allowances for customary or recreational fishing.

The proposals for each stock have been assessed based on relevant statutory requirements and the best available information, including:

  • latest scientific information on the status of the stocks
  • tangata whenua and stakeholder input.

More details are in the consultation document.

Consultation document

If you can't open the document or would like printed copies, email FMSubmissions@mpi.govt.nz

Consultation closed at 5pm on 27 July 2018.

Related consultation

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