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Hoki Stocks Recovered

NEW ZEALAND - Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister, Phil Heatley, is praising the strong fisheries management practices and decisive joint Ministry and industry action that has resulted in the recovery of the western hoki stock.

"The Ministry of Fisheries latest fisheries assessment plenary report; ‘A stock take of the state of our fisheries management,’ indicates the fish stock has rebuilt itself, which is great news for the fishery and industry," says Mr Heatley.

"Following a period which saw a limited number of young fish entering the fishery, resulting in depleted stocks between 2003 and 2006, the Ministry and industry made large reductions in catch. It’s a move that has now paid off with the Ministry able to declare this stock rebuilt."

"The management of our fisheries resources is an ongoing process of review and adjustment and the positive status of the western hoki stock may result in a reconsideration of total allowable catches later this year," said Mr Heatley.

New Zealand’s success in fisheries management was also documented in a science paper 'Rebuilding Global Fisheries' which has just been awarded the prestigious 2011 Sustainability Science Award from the Ecological Society of America.

The report, co-authored by Ministry of Fisheries Chief Scientist Pamela Mace, examines a number of global fisheries and analyses efforts to restore overexploited marine ecosystems.

"While the report’s findings were not positive for all global fisheries, New Zealand and Alaska received the highest ranking for sustainable fisheries management," Dr Mace said.

"The research found that New Zealand is an area where fish stocks have generally not been over-fished and are effectively managed."

Mr Heatley congratulated Pamela Mace and the team of 20 international fisheries and marine scientists that produced the paper.

"It’s a significant piece of research, given the scientists involved covered the spectrum of fisheries and conservation perspectives – it was the resulting consensual view that impressed the judges," he said.

The ESA Sustainability Science Award is made annually to the authors of the peer reviewed paper published in the past five years that makes the greatest contribution to the emerging science of ecosystem and regional sustainability through the integration of ecological and social sciences.

The full “Rebuilding Global Fisheries” report can be viewed at: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/325/5940/578.abstract

The Fishery Assessment Plenary, May 2011: Stock Assessments and Yield Estimates is available by visiting and then entering Documents and Information/Stock assessment plenary: http://fs.fish.govt.nz/Page.aspx?pk=91

the Fish Site Editor

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