New Zealand continues to lead the world in sustainable fishing practices and the industry deserves to be congratulated, says Nelson MP Dr Nick Smith, following the formal accreditation last night of three key offshore fisheries by the globally recognised Marine Stewardship Council.
“The fishing industry is crucial to the Nelson economy. Every Nelsonian has an interest in our fishing stocks being managed in a responsible and sustainable way. This international certification by the Marine Stewardship Council is welcome reassurance that we are up to world best practise in our fisheries management.
"The hoki fishery is now one of the first in the world to be accredited for the third time. In 2001 it gained accreditation with 10 conditions, that was renewed in 2007 with six conditions and now it is unconditional.
"The seafood industry has worked hard over the past four years to set the international standard on managing hoki stocks and deserves to be recognised.
“130,000 tonnes of hoki with an export value of $197 million was caught in our waters last year and a lot of that is processed in Nelson, directly supporting nearly 1000 jobs.
This first certification of Southern Blue Whiting, a 43,000 tonne annual fishery worth $25 million, is also significant for Nelson. This is the first Southern Blue Whiting fishery in the world to receive the MSC certification.
"This certification is import for Nelson because it is reassurance that these fisheries are being managed sustainability and so we can have confidence in the on-going jobs and wealth they provide. They are also important in helping New Zealand secure the best price in global markets as consumers become more discerning about the sustainability of the fish the consume.’’
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