01 July 2019
Tarakihi is the fish of New Zealand, with more than 90% of our catch being sold within Aotearoa. It is the fish that
supports local markets, recreational interests, employment, communities and most importantly – dinner tables of families
As kiwis, we love our fish. We’re an island nation with a deep connection to our coastlines. More than 80% of us eat
fish at least once a month and around 12% of us are lucky enough to catch it ourselves. With this privilege comes a very
important duty – to act as kaitiaki for Tangaroa.
That’s why Te Ohu Kaimoana, Fisheries Inshore New Zealand and Southern Inshore Fisheries have come together to find a
pathway forward for the tarakihi fishery. A problem was identified and we are responding by providing a science-based
solution through our Eastern Tarakihi Management Strategy and Rebuild Plan
. The contents of the rebuild plan are included in Fisheries New Zealand’s (FNZ) Tarakihi (TAR 1, 2, 3 AND 7) consultation document
as an official option for consideration.
In 2018, in response to the East Coast tarakihi stock assessment, the industry proposed to voluntarily reduce allowable
catches from 1 October of that year by 25% and implemented a number of other measures to improve the stock. The Minister
of Fisheries Hon Stuart Nash accepted our proposed reduction in catch but formalised it through a Total Allowable
Commercial Catch (TACC) cut while requesting that we continue with our other measures.
In addition, the Minister challenged the fishing industry to present him with an effective and robust management
strategy for East Coast tarakihi. We have met that challenge.
The latest science indicates the fishery will rebuild and recover at the current catch limits set 2018, however this
year FNZ is proposing a further cut to the TACC of the East Coast tarakihi fishery by up to 50% of the remaining catch
to achieve a rapid rebuild. Further significant cuts will unnecessarily impact industry jobs and the wellbeing of our
communities. The Eastern Tarakihi Management Strategy and Rebuild Plan sets out how we will demonstrate our commitment
to the rebuild and ongoing sustainable management of the East Coast tarakihi fishery. We are living up to the challenge
set by Hon Stuart Nash and now we ask that the Minister looks after the wellbeing of the fishery and the New Zealanders
who depend upon it.