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Research Boost For Deepwater Fisheries

NEW ZEALAND - Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Phil Heatley has announced a funding boost for research into New Zealands valuable deepwater fisheries and deep-sea environment

“A new 10-year research programme will increase our knowledge and understanding of deepwater fishstocks such as orange roughy, hoki and squid, the environment they live in and the impacts of fishing activity,” Mr Heatley says.

The programme will cost $17 million a year, a boost of $5 million a year on current spending levels and is the largest increase in fisheries' science spending since 2002. It will be largely funded through levies to the industry.

“The information from this research programme will flow through to support robust, future-focused fisheries management decisions,” he says.

“Our deepwater fisheries are a valuable resource for New Zealand, bringing in hundreds of millions in export earnings every year,” Mr Heatley says.

“It's important we manage these fisheries to make sure current catch limits are sustainable and there will be fish around to catch for generations to come.”

The increased research funding will go into three areas – fishstock assessment, environmental research and boosting observer coverage.

Planning has already started with the first research projects scheduled to start in the next fishing year, which runs from 1 October 2010 to 31 September 2011.

"I would like to thank deepwater quota owners for working constructively with government on this project and for their commitment to increasing scientific research funding and observer coverage in these fisheries,” Mr Heatley says.

the Fish Site Editor

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