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Good News for New Zealand's Hoki

Sustainability +1 more

NEW ZEALAND - The recovery in our valuable hoki stocks is great news for everyone involved in this important fishery, Fisheries Minister Phil Heatley said today, following the release of the latest Ministry of Fisheries research into the hoki population.

The research shows that the western hoki stock – off the South Island’s west coast – is recovering well after a period of few young fish surviving to adulthood and entering the fishery. The fishery is now within sustainable target levels.

The eastern stock remains strong and has always been comfortably above target levels.

A rebuilding strategy for the western stock was developed in conjunction with the hoki fishing industry, leading to substantial catch reductions and a comprehensive research programme.

The hoki fishery was certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council in 2001 and re-certified in 2007 on condition that a rebuilding strategy for the western stock was in place and operating effectively.

“The latest research shows the rebuilding strategy is working well and is starting to pay dividends,” Mr Heatley said.

The Ministry of Fisheries and the fishing industry are working together on the future management of the hoki fishery with a plan being developed that will put in place a long term management strategy and research plan.

“I am very encouraged by the good work that is being done to manage New Zealand’s hoki stocks into the future,” Mr Heatley said.

“We will be working hard to make sure that New Zealand’s hoki stocks remain sustainable and well managed.”

Hoki fisheries were worth $151 million in export earnings in 2008 and were New Zealand’s third most valuable seafood export.