Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Live water quality reports available with Project Blue technology

A recent news article here reports that water quality is the New Zealand public's greatest environmental concern.  But the public lacks access to accurate, current, and easy-to-understand water quality information about their local stream, river, lake or beach.

A group of Kiwi scientists and computer engineers working with GreenXperts has solved this problem by inventing smart-phone based technology that provides accurate water quality reporting live, on-line, anywhere in New Zealand (indeed, anywhere in the world).  We call it Project Blue.

Project Blue's public Facebook module is running live on Facebook at Project Blue Global and Project Blue New Zealand.  Other pages have been set up for popular water spots throughout New Zealand - just search by region or beach name.  Anyone can post a water observation and have it analysed for free by our scientists. Project Blue North Pacific is providing support for Ivan Macfayden in his work to help fix the "broken ocean".

Project Blue's enterprise module ADAAR (Automated Data Analysis And Reporting) is available as a high tech "bolt-on" to existing water monitoring systems for a few dollars per person, or as a stand-alone for a few dollars more.  Customised packages for industry and other water users are also available - especially useful for legal cases.  ADAAR is not yet available to the New Zealand public - we hope it will be by next summer.

Look out for fakes and unauthorised copies - we know they're being worked on.

Just to let you know the technology exists, and you can use it on Facebook from any smartphone or personal computer anywhere.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, 16 December 2013

Emission trading not dead - EU Parliament supports carbon prices

Last week the European Parliament approved measures to support carbon prices in the EU Emissions Trading System.  Click here for more detail.

Europe is still focused on dealing with climate change.  Carbon Neutral, or even better, Carbon Negative products will sell well in Europe.

Go to Green Tick Certification for information on Carbon Neutral and Carbon Negative certification for products targeted at EU customers.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Here we go again...more millions to be wasted on water quality wallowing...

On 21 November, the latest and most authoritative report on water quality in New Zealand from the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Jan Wright, elegantly and pointedly describes New Zealand's most pressing environmental and economic issue - increasing pollution of our waterways from intensification of land use for agriculture.  Dr Wright politely says water managers and industry are not doing enough to prevent the continuing degradation in water quality, and that the situation is just going to get worse.

Unsurprisingly, the Ministers for Primary Industry and Environment immediately released a press statement saying, "No worries, we're on it..."

Well, they're not.

The latest effort on national fresh water management "reform" has been through the Government-sponsored Land and Water Forum, a multi-party collaborative group.  After three years of work and millions of dollars, the Forum informs us in their third and final report of 15 November that their considered recommendation is to "call for community decisions at catchment level – within national frameworks and bottom lines from central Government.”

What?  This is nothing new.  This mantra was trotted out to me when I first joined the Northland Catchment Commission (now Regional Council) 26 years ago.  And the message hasn't changed.  And it's not wrong.  And scientifically sound water quality standards were set all those years ago by perfectly competent scientists and engineers, culminating in the Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality published in the year 2000 - 13 years ago.

What has happened since?  Well, briefly, communities have been arguing about water quality standards and enforcement of them ever since.  The science has been ignored and manipulated and mocked, sensible and safe water quality limits have not been respected or enforced, and the basis of more than half of New Zealand's wealth continues to literally go down the drain.

It looks like we're set to go around the mountain again, and waste millions more of taxpayers' and ratepayers' money on rediagnoses of the problem, endless ruminations and court cases on what water quality limits should be set in what rivers, legal and political pressure by powerful vested interests to push large land and water development projects and consents through, ditto for those Councils who want to take more water and discharge more poorly treated waste, sporadic and passionate protests about it all from iwi, green groups and the tourism industry, and continued accelerating worsening of land and water quality nationwide.

I understand from the grapevine that Fonterra is putting pressure on farmers to go to two cows an acre.  If true, this is utter madness.  The land can't take it, the water can't take it, and the farmers are exhausted enough without doubling their worries.  It may create work for another generation of scientists, engineers, lawyers, and corporate managers, but New Zealand doesn't have the technology or carrying capacity to handle it.  Are we going to cover the country in cows?  Fonterra already has a major problem trying to deal with over $700 million in exposure to no less than three food safety scares in the past five years, and a $1.1 billion climate change charge (production loss from drought) imposed by Mother Nature.  Fonterra shareholders must be bouncing off the walls.  Imagine what would happen if just European and Asian customers, for example, decided to no longer buy Anchor butter and other Fonterra products because of dirty water issues, especially if a "green" competitor came along and offered genuinely 'clean green' dairy products?  To be sure...the opposition is working on it.

Similarly so for the meat companies.  Silver Fern Farms' recently reported latest annual loss is $28.6 million, slightly better than the previous year's $31.1 million loss.  Beef margins have reportedly halved, and livestock numbers are down because of drought (climate change charges again).  Total debt between Silver Fern Farms, Alliance Meats and AFFCO is running around $700 million, so there must be very grumpy shareholders in the meat sector too.  What will happen there when the 'clean green' mirage finally disappears and our high margin buyers in Europe go off to buy their meat from genuinely 'greener' pastures? No customer is fooled by unsupported green claims, superficial green labelling, and cynical self-accreditation schemes, especially when their buyers come out here and have an unpleasant water experience...

Happily, there are a few organisations that understand that being more efficient, facing up to reality, and cleaning up your own mess are the same thing....examples of good practice are out and water care groups soldier on and make a difference in small local examples.  The Whangarei District Council has wisely planned for less water in future by putting in more storage, and for years it has been tertiary-treating its effluent through a wetland. Occasionally the forest industry puts its hand up to say, "hey, don't forget about us, we can do more..."

But what to expect now?  Well, expect the eminent Dr Jan Wright to be replaced by an apologist for dirty water policy sometime next year; expect agricultural companies run by Boards with their brains hardwired into the 19th Century to continue to run interference and use delaying tactics and behind the scenes politics to keep the status quo; expect a myopic central government and emasculated local government (bar a few exceptions) to continue to waste your money by reinvestigating and relitigating the obvious; and expect the clean green mirage to disappear completely soon, with most of the huge cost of this (in export losses) to come out of your taxpayer pocket.

Do we have solutions?  Yes, we do, and we have done for over 20 years.  But we need attitudinal change at grassroots level, 19th Century-based Board members and politicians removed, and a major redirection of our science, engineering and marketing skills away from the lethal and lazy mirage of volume-based "more production, more production, low margin" policy into efficiency-based "high quality, genuinely green products for a premium price" policy.

Then we can be price-makers, like we used to be; not price-takers, like we are.

And maybe in 10 years' time it'll be safe to have a Christmas Day swim in the swimming hole at my brother-in-law's place on the Kerikeri River....Dreams are free...

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Snapper Decision Smart Politics But Poor Resource Management

Snapper SNA 1 Minister's Decision

Now having had time to ruminate on the Minister's decision on the SNA 1 snapper fishery, and looking out the window to the sou-westerly sweeping across Whangarei Harbour, I can't escape the conclusion that the Hon Nathan Guy has made a smart political decision, but a poor resource management one.

Not surprising really, when you have your Prime Minister and fellow MPs assailed by every outraged recreational fisher in their electorate at the thought of going to sea and spending $200 bucks on fuel alone just to bring home 3 snapper....and it doesn't help that your party president owns a huge slice of the commercial cake, I mean fillet.....

Easier to give the recfishers what they want and not tick off over a million New Zealanders 13 months before the next election.  Reasoning being that 500 tonnes either way won't show up on the statistics and so won't thinking, but not smart statesmanship that your children and grandchildren will remember you for.

And smart politics, but unfortunately when you check the maths again, and think about the fishery being on a knife edge, and all the natural uncertainties out there on the wind and the water, and climate change (which is not a religion but a scientific fact), it may be enough to tip the fishery the wrong way, and then we end up with nothing for all.

Not quite as bad as the hoki decision some time ago where 100,000 tonnes was allocated that simply wasn't there, leading to a melt-down in some fishing communities, and major embarrassment in the UK when it was revealed that NZ's sustainability claims for hoki were, well, just hoki...

But certainly not the best for the SNA1 fishery.  Which comes back to the key point in my 'umble submission.  We need to get together, recfishers, commercial fishers, and government, and all offer some meaningful concessions and reductions that will take pressure off the fishery long term, so that sometime in my lifetime (I hope), we can run the maths again, and see a certain and steady upturn in fish population numbers.

The dream of sustainability.  That's what I mean.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Mother Nature Applies $1.15 Billion Climate Change Charge to Fonterra Earnings

NBR Article 25092013 John Wilson's Summary

Drought - one of the long predicted effects of climate change, is now showing up in Fonterra's corporate results, with Chairman John Wilson reporting a 9% drop in milk production in the last six months of the season, a 28% (!) reduction in cashflow.

Revenue fell 6% to $18.6 billion, meaning a drop of $1.15 billion in earnings for Fonterra farmers, or, a Climate Change Charge of $1.15 billion.  That's a lot of money.  This drop outweighed the effect of any other negatives "headwinds", such as food safety issues. Fonterra has used its Treasury to insulate farmers from the effects of drought by raising the Advance Rate to farmers - effectively a climate change subsidy.

And perversely, drought in other locations around the world has made the price paid for dairy products go up, as supply goes down.

It will be interesting to see how New Zealand's largest company copes with increasing drought and flooding predicted as a result of climate change.  How long will its Treasury hold out?  

Climate Change Charges are also being applied to other New Zealanders - the Insurance Council reported $100 million in costs from recent storms.

This just shows us that New Zealand needs to get back in the game of taking serious and effective action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  This $1.15 billion, which has come to charge now, in this financial year, is way way more than the predicted cost of any carbon trading scheme, let alone any carbon tax.  And it would pay for an awful lot of good science and lobbying in the international arena - and this is a Climate Change Charge on just one of our industries!  

Mother Nature responds only to the laws of physics, not to the naive notions of lobbyists and vested interests still living in the 19th Century.  Farmers would do well to get together and plant a whole heap of trees. 

I'll be keeping track of Climate Change Charges in future for New Zealand and other countries...Australia is an interesting case study....more on that later....

Friday, 23 August 2013

Submission on SNA 1 Snapper Fishery Sustainability Review

 Submission on: SNA 1 Initial Position Paper 2013

On behalf of:        Ashley, Susan, James (7 years) and Kimberley Harris (5 years) of Whangarei Heads
                             Supporters of Legasea.

Date:                    23rd August 2013

                             Ashley Harris                           Susan Harris

Table of Contents
1       Introduction.......................................................................................................................... 3
2       Parties to this submission...................................................................................................... 3
3       Key issues............................................................................................................................. 3
3.1         Vulnerability of the fishery............................................................................................. 3
3.2         Glacial and fragile stock recovery.................................................................................... 4
3.3         Overly optimistic scenarios............................................................................................. 4
3.4         Critical information gaps................................................................................................. 5
3.5         Unsustainable current management by all parties.......................................................... 6
3.6         Competitive attitudes.................................................................................................... 6
3.7         Need for change............................................................................................................ 7
4       Relief sought - recommended strategy.................................................................................. 7
5       Conclusion............................................................................................................................ 8
6       Appendix 1: Key observations............................................................................................... 9
7       Appendix 2: References...................................................................................................... 15

1         Introduction

This is a submission on the Ministry of Primary Industries’ (MPI’s) Initial Position Paper on proposals for sustainability measures and other management controls for SNA 1 for the October 2013/2014 fishing year, MPI Discussion Paper No: 2013/31, July 2013 (IPP). 

The submission comprises the following sections:

Section 2: Parties to the submission
Section 3: Key issues
Section 4: Relief sought – recommended strategy
Section 5: Conclusions.

2         Parties to this submission

This submission has been prepared by GreenXperts Limited (GreenXperts) for and on behalf of:
·         Ashley and Susan Harris of Whangarei Heads;
·         Their children, James (7 years) and Kimberley Harris (5 years) of Whangarei Heads;
·         Any descendants of Ashley and Susan Harris; and
·         Members, affiliates and supporters of Legasea.

The professional analysis, advice, opinions and recommendations contained within this submission have been prepared for the information of the parties to this submission, and are consistent with Legasea’s policy to promote the rebuild of snapper stocks in SNA 1.  However they do not represent the official position of Legasea or the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council (NZSFC).

3         Key issues

3.1         Vulnerability of the fishery

The science summarised in the IPP informs us that:
·         Snapper are a low productivity stock, and therefore vulnerable to over-fishing;
·         SNA 1 snapper grow the slowest in all of New Zealand, and they have weaknesses in their age class structure (certain age classes are missing);
·         Snapper growth rates are declining;
·         SNA 1 stocks are severely depleted, having suffered an 85% decrease from 1900 to 1997;
·         Some discernible recovery in the stocks has occurred in the past ten years following restrictions in total allowable catch (TAC);
·         However long term trends indicate that snapper stocks are still declining;
·         Habitats of particular importance to snapper are known to exist, but are not well described or protected;
·         Snapper experience commercial and recreational fishing pressure when spawning;
·         Land use activities pose threats to snapper nursery habitats in estuaries and harbours; and
·         Snapper are the most intensively sought after commercial and recreational marine fish in SNA 1.
It can be concluded that the SNA 1 snapper fishery is a very vulnerable fishery that continues to experience intensive predatory pressure from commercial and recreational fishers.

3.2         Glacial and fragile stock recovery

The 2013 spawning stock biomass (Bx) assessment reported in the IPP informs us that:
·         There was a massive 85% drop in stocks from 1900 to about 2000, almost to collapse levels.  The fishery was decimated over a period of 100 years, particularly by foreign commercial vessels in the period 1960-1980;
·         A very slow recovery occurred from about 1997 onward, following the imposition of catch limits.  This recovery has been at a rate of about 0.25% per year;
·          At this rate, it would take another 80 years (2093) to recover to target B40 level.  That is, a recovery period of about 150 years from the last time the stock was at B40 (pre-WWII[1]);
·         Statistically speaking, it could be argued from the presented error and uncertainty analyses that there has actually been very little recovery since 1997, and therefore the fishery is still in a critically vulnerable state;
·         It could also be argued that anecdotal reports of recovery in estuaries and harbours are the result of reduced commercial fishing pressure (due to catch limits imposed in 1997), temporary favourable weather conditions within harbours (targeted by recreational fishers), an increasing recreational fishing population (more people on the water therefore more anecdotal reporting), and the enthusiasm of fishers; and,
·         The 2013 expert opinion on stock status is that the stock remains over-fished by all fishers.

The data shows that the stock recovery is glacial and fragile, and probably highly sensitive to seasonal environmental conditions and fishing pressure.

3.3         Overly optimistic scenarios

Despite the very competent summary and presentation of fisheries science in the IPP (which includes statistical information, modelling, and caveats encouraging caution), some overly optimistic scenarios and management options are proposed, with the science being misapplied.

In particular, a TAC of 9,000 tonnes is proposed over next five years, with a claim that there would be minimal impacts upon the East Northland and Hauraki-Bay of Plenty sub-stocks, since this level of TAC would only last five years.  This projection is based upon “recent average recruitment levels”, which are themselves a product of a TAC of 7,550 tonnes (less fishing pressure).  A TAC based on long term recruitment levels suggests 3,800 tonnes might be sustainable, so it is extremely unlikely that a TAC of 9,000 tonnes would represent a Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) for the fishery.

Within the context of the high demand and high expectations on the fishery, it is considered dangerously irresponsible to make such a suggestion.  The precautionary principle, an important and accepted principle of sustainability management, should be part of the MPI ethos when managing vulnerable natural resources.  Overly optimistic scenarios should not be proposed, as they could create dangerously unrealistic expectations in many quarters.

3.4         Critical information gaps

The summary of science reveals a number of critical information gaps that need to be addressed before adequately informed management decisions can be made.  The most important gaps are summarised below in Table 1. 

Table 1: Critical information gaps
Information gap
1.       Snapper growth and productivity
Why do snapper in SNA 1 grow the slowest in NZ?
Why are snapper growth rates declining?
2.       Effects of climate change[2]
Better recruitment in warmer weather - positive impact of climate change (warming sea)?  Balanced against negative impacts of ocean acidification?
3.       Value of commercial fishery
Probably under-reported as no work on industry economic multipliers, opportunity costs, asset replacements and influence of technology, export and domestic market demand trends appears to have been done.  These are standard economic analyses, and it is surprising that they have not be completed and presented.
4.       Value of recreational fishery
Value of the recreational fishery in SNA 1 is extraordinarily under-studied and under-reported given its scientific and political significance.  A proper economic assessment of the full economic and social value of recreational fishing to the NZ economy and its community is needed.  These demands need to be monitored on a year-by-year basis, and matched to demographic studies on projected population growth and recreational fishing demand.
5.       Demographics of recreational fishery – future demand assessments
Research needed on demographics of SNA 1 to help project future fishing demand, in particular recreational demand.  It is remarkable that to date, no proper demographic studies have been completed on this critical social and economic aspect.
6.       Fishing mortality – non-harvest
Is commercial and recreational non-harvest mortality similar?
Can industry-led research on fishing methods help discover ways to reduce unintentional non-harvest mortality?
7.       Habitats of particular significance for fisheries management
Critical to research location and extent of these areas and protect them.
8.       Effects of fishing on spawning
Critical to research these effects and protect key spawning areas.
9.       Benthic interactions
Critical to research these effects and make management adjustments where necessary.
10.   Ecosystem indicators – eg. maximum size of fish in Hauraki Gulf decreasing, declines in fish diversity in shallow waters – these are bad signs
Critical to research these indicators and make management adjustments where necessary.

Source: Appendix 1

Fortunately many of these gaps could be closed fairly quickly over the next two years.  Considerable research is already underway, and the topics in Table 1 could be added to existing research projects where practical, or additional research projects commissioned to run alongside them.  Some of the topics are relatively short term projects (eg. full value of commercial fishery); others are long term with management monitoring elements (eg. ecosystem indicators).  If not covered by existing projects, topics 7-10 could be combined into one research project.

3.5         Unsustainable current management by all parties

The 2013 expert assessment provided by the 2013 Fisheries Assessment Plenary concludes that the SNA 1 stock is over-fished by all fishers – commercial and recreational.  All parties are responsible for the unsustainable management of the SNA 1 snapper stocks.

The IPP states that there needs to be a 56% reduction in TAC to rebuild the fishery to B40 levels in a 16-24 year period.  If such is achieved, it would be towards the end of Ashley and Susan Harris’ lifetimes.  Their children James Harris would be 26-34 years old, and Kimberley Harris 21-29 years old. 

Tragically, based on past fisheries management performance, Ashley and Susan Harris, their children, and grand-children, will not see stocks achieve this level in their lifetimes.  That is, it could take four generations to rebuild the stocks to B40.  What an appalling legacy.

That is the prime reason why we are making this submission – we want to make sure that we pass on a better legacy to our children.

3.6         Competitive attitudes

A short review of the information and draft submissions on the IPP from Government, commercial fishing and recreational fishing sources reveals unfortunate competitive and blame-shifting attitudes between the commercial and recreational industries: “us versus them”, “it’s their fault, not ours”, “this policy position “X” will ruin our industry (commercial or recreational)”, and so on.  The Government position seems to oscillate between appearing to favour the commercial fishers or the recreational fishers, depending upon levels of lobbying and publicity at various times.

Fortunately the current 2013 IPP strikes a reasonable balance between the two.

However it needs to be said that the competitive attitude between the two major stakeholders is frustrating the sustainable management of the resource.  It doesn’t matter to the fish whose hook kills it – the fish is dead either way and is no longer part of the spawning stock biomass. 

Stock depletion issues are so severe with the SNA 1 snapper fishery that if a cooperative attitude is not adopted then the fishery will inevitably collapse and everybody will miss out.

3.7         Need for change

All the best science and policy pretentions will not save the fishery if fishery managers (MPI) and fishery stakeholders (commercial and recreational fishers[3]) do not acknowledge that the stock is currently over-fished by ALL fishers, and agree to take effective action to rebuild the stock over an acceptable time period.
In short, a cooperative attitude is an essential pre-requisite to effective sustainable management of the resource.  For this reason we support the MPI proposals to encourage stakeholder input, encourage field research, and develop a long term management strategy over the next two years.

However, we do not support Options 2 or 3, as a 7% increase or decrease in the TAC short term is not likely to benefit the fishery.  Nor do we support management options based on recent recruitment levels.  Time needs to be allowed to receive critical research results, and then a long term plan must be agreed upon before the first short term steps can safely and sensibly be made.

The SNA 1 snapper stock is probably stable enough at present levels for a two year “pause” to be called to give time for a better informed and united[4] long term management strategy to be devised and actioned.  This would not prevent stakeholders from taking voluntary actions (provided these are environmentally, economically and socially sound) to improve the sustainability performance of their industry.  Nor would it prevent MPI from taking more effective enforcement actions where required.

4         Relief sought - recommended strategy

The relief we seek from the Minister is as follows:
1.       That the Minister delay making a decision to change the TAC, TACC and recreational allowances for two years.
2.       That the Minister adopts Option 1 (Status quo) for the 2013-2015 fishing years.
3.       That the Minister encourage all parties to adopt a cooperative approach to the management of the SNA 1 snapper resource.
4.       That the Minister commission research into the critical information gaps recommended in Table 1 above.
5.       That the Minister advises stakeholders that he intends to adopt a long term management plan (LTMP) for the fishery to be actioned from the 2015 fishing year onward.
6.       That in the meantime, the Minister calls for public proposals from stakeholders for voluntary sustainability programmes, including how their effectiveness will be measured over the next two years.
7.       That the Minister advises that he intends to host an “open book” Sustainable Snapper Plenary for the SNA 1 area in August 2015, where the latest research will be presented, and where stakeholders will be invited to present their latest information and views on a Long Term Management Strategy (LTMS) for SNA 1.
8.       That the Minister invites all stakeholders to enter discussions with MPI and submit proposals on a possible LTMS by late August 2014.  Further cooperative discussions and meetings would occur, with a Draft LTMS to be published in May 2015.
9.       That the Minister provides more resources for enforcement activities in targeted areas of known non-compliance.

5         Conclusion

We would like to thank the Minister for the opportunity to present this submission.  If we can be of any further assistance, or if further information is required, please contact our representative Mrs Susan Harris of GreenXperts, contact details below.

We look forward to the Minister making decisions that will ensure our children and grand-children are able to enjoy fishing for snapper as we have within our lifetimes, and to a greater extent within theirs.

Mrs Susan Harris
Principal Scientist
Mob: 022 1544 958

GreenXperts Limited
Clean Technology Centre
47 Miro Street, Otaki 5512
PO Box 52, Paraparaumu 5254
New Zealand

 “GreenXperts” Network      

6         Appendix 1: Key observations

Table 2: Summary of observations

Snapper growth and productivity
i Snapper a low productivity stock – therefore particularly vulnerable to overfishing
SNA 1 snapper grow the slowest of all in NZ
Importance of snapper as a food source for other predators poorly understood
êResearch need
Snapper abundant predator in inshore ecosystem – their importance poorly understood
êResearch need
Warmer water has positive effects on snapper recruitment
ê Positive impact of climate change (warming sea)?  Balanced against negative impacts of ocean acidification?
Weakness in age class structure - fewer age classes in SNA 1
i SNA 1 recruitment vulnerable because of fewer age classes present?
Extensive controls already on commercial fishers
Are these effective?  Can they be simplified?
ACE entitlements don’t seem to be flexible or financially fair to commercial fishers
Market failure of ACE? Can a better economic instrument be designed?  Consult with commercial fishers.
Figure 3.2 Commercial catch exceeds TACC in most years
i But what are the error limits on this data?  Extent of under-reporting and dump at sea?
TACC hasn’t changed in 16 years (since 1997)
Drop in commercial fleet to around 200 vessels since 1993
Fleet reduction a result of over-fishing, and introduction of more efficient vessels, not as a result of the QMS!  The QMS followed collapse of the fishery[5].
Value of the commercial fishery
This value is under-stated, as it does not include the value of the domestic market (snapper wet fish in supermarkets presently sold at $40/kg+), or any estimates of economic multipliers to the NZ economy.
Recreational fishing 85% by boat
i How many boats in the recreational fleet? No numbers found in scientific literature search[6].
Data quality
Data prior to 2000 may still be useful for trend analysis.
Table 3.4 Recreational catch estimates 2004-2012
Surprisingly good correlation between aerial access and panel surveys.
Value of the recreational fishery
ê Value of the recreational fishery in SNA 1 is extraordinarily under-studied and under-reported given its scientific and political significance.  The postulate in the IPP that recreational fishing is roughly equivalent in value to commercial fishing has very little support in the scientific literature.[7]
Fishing mortality
ê Commercial and recreational fishing mortality similar?
Snapper growth rates declining
ê Urgent research need
Interim biomass target B40
Acceptable target
Spawning stock biomass (Bx) history from 1900 to about 2000.
Massive 85% drop in Bx from 1900 to about 2000.  Fishery decimated over a period of 100 years, particularly by foreign commercial vessels in the period 1960-1980.[8]
Bx from 2000 onward
Very slow recovery from about 1997 onward, at a rate of about 0.25% per year[9].  At this rate, it would take another 80 years (2093) to recover to target B40 level.  That is, a recovery period of about 150 years from the last time the stock was at B40 (pre-WWII). 
2013 expert opinion on stock status
Stock overfished by all fishers.
Matching scenarios to options:
Status quo -current actual catch
Option 1 - current legal catch
Option 2 – increase TAC
Option 3 – decrease TAC
No fishing
Scenario number and effect:
1 commercial recreational POS [10]
2 commercial recreational˜ POS
3 commercial recreational ˜ POS
4 commercial ˜ recreational ˜ POS ˜
5 commercial ˜ recreational ˜ POS ˜
Bx recovery 1-4% over 5 years
No real change if error levels and uncertainty analysis considered
Five year projections based on “well above average” recruitment levels in most recent ten years
Dangerously optimistic position given all the relevant caveats stated previously in the IPP. 
“No fishing” leads to recovery to B40 in eight years
Won’t happen.
Recovery rate glacial
Cf. page 30, paragraph 94.
Harvest Strategy Standard (HSS) guideline on stock recovery timeframe
Snapper a depleted stock.  Under HSS, need to reduce TAC 56% to achieve rebuild in 16-24 year range.  Such a reduction unlikely without major fisher commitment.
Habitat of particular significance for fisheries management
ê Critical to research location and extent of these areas and protect them.
Effects of fishing on spawning
ê Critical to research these effects and protect key spawning areas.
Benthic interactions
ê Critical to research these effects and make management adjustments where necessary.
Ecosystem indicators – eg. maximum size of fish in Hauraki Gulf decreasing, declines in fish diversity in shallow waters – these are bad signs
ê Critical to research these indicators and make management adjustments where necessary.
If not covered by existing research projects, these four items could be combined into one research project.
Proposed interim target B40
Recovery projections
Recovery slow and fragile.
TAC of 9,000 tonnes over next five years with minimal impact on sub-stocks  - projection based on “recent average recruitment levels”.  TAC based on long term levels suggests 3,800 tonnes
TAC of 9,000 tonnes is an outrageous and dangerously irresponsible suggestion, given all the previous information and caveats stated in the IPP. 
SNA 1 high value shared fishery
SNA 1 is a fully utilized stock
Actually over-utilised.  Demand will go up with population growth.
êResearch needed on demographics of SNA 1 to help project future fishing demand, in particular recreational demand.  It is remarkable that to date, no proper demographic studies have been completed on this critical social and economic aspect.
Recreational catch histories, Figure 6.1.
The Global Financial Crisis (GFC) appears to have had no negative effect on recreational fishing activity.
Estimates of commercial value
These values are likely to be understated, as no work on industry economic multipliers, opportunity costs, asset replacements and influence of technology, export and domestic market demand trends appears to have been done.  These are standard economic analyses, and it is surprising that they have not be completed and presented.
Estimates of recreational value
Cf page 24, paragraph 73.
êCritical research needed to provide a proper economic assessment of the full economic and social value of recreational fishing to the NZ economy and its community.  These demands need to be monitored on a year-by-year basis, and matched to demographic studies on projected population growth and recreational fishing demand.
Remove commercial MLS and require all catch to be landed
Warrants serious consideration
Fishing method mortality
êResearch need – industry led
Long term trend shows stock levels still going down
Current management clearly not sustainable.
Long term Bx will continue to decline unless TAC reduced by approximately 20%
Current commercial and recreational fishing pressures are continuing to deplete the fishery.  This is not a “commercial” or “recreational’ problem, it is everybody’s problem.
Only Option 3 – reduce TAC by 500 tonnes – decreases pressure on the fishery
Cf page 32, paragraph 99.  However, the biology and uncertainties involved make this reduction of no consequence.  A reduction of at least 20% (1,500 tonnes) would be required to be effective.
Discussion of Options 1-3
Option 1  - no change
Option 2 – increase TAC 7%
Option3 – decrease TAC 7%

Short term projections on recruitment levels used again, despite previous caveats
The precautionary principle, an important accepted principle of sustainability management, does not appear to be part of the MPI ethos when managing vulnerable natural resources.

Recreational catch exceeds allowance by 31%
Commercial fishers have a right to complain if recreational over-catch is not constrained by MPI!

Recreational bag limit and recreational MLS tools to manage recreational fishing impacts on the resource
Various combinations possible.

Proportional allocations of TAC
Various combinations possible.
Stakeholder input critical
Development of long term management strategy
Top priority
Research underway to source important information for decision-making
Support extension of research efforts, given the national priorities associated with the SNA 1 snapper fishery.
Long term management strategy develop over next two years
Agree with 2015 target date.

Key:        iKey information
ê Research need

Source: MPI 2013a,b,c

7         Appendix 2: References

Economic Research Associates Pty Ltd (2010): Cutting the Cake in a Shared Fishery with a Minimally Managed Non Commercial Sector, April 2010, Nedlands, Western Australia.
Bruce W. Hartill, Tim G. Watson & Richard Bian (2011) Refining and Applying a Maximum-Count Aerial-Access Survey Design to Estimate the Harvest Taken from New Zealand's Largest Recreational Fishery, North American Journal of Fisheries Management, 31:6, 1197-1210, DOI: 10.1080/02755947.2011.646454
Kerr G N and Latham N (2011): “The Value of Recreational Inshore Marine Fishing”, 2011.  Proceedings of the New Zealand Agricultural and Resource Economics Society Annual Conference, August 2011, Nelson.
Ministry for Fisheries (2008): Harvest Strategy Standard for New Zealand Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries — October 2008, Wellington.
Ministry for Primary Industries (2012): Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity Annual Review (2012), Wellington. 
Ministry for Primary Industries (2013a): Fisheries Assessment Plenary May 2013: Stock Assessments and Yield Estimates, June 2013 (087_SNA_2013), Wellington.
Ministry for Primary Industries (2013b): Fisheries Assessment Plenary May 2013: Stock Assessments and Yield Estimates Volume 1, Wellington. 
Ministry for Primary Industries (2013c): Review of sustainability and other management controls for snapper 1 (SNA 1), MPI Discussion Paper No: 2013/31, July 2013, Wellington.
South Australian Centre for Economic Studies (1999): Value of New Zealand Recreational Fishing, November 1999, Adelaide and Flinders Universities.

[1] World War II 1939-1945
[2] 95% certainty of human-induced climate change in latest draft IPCC report IPPC 2013 Draft Report [informal]
[3] Customary fishers are included as recreational fishers
[4] Generally agreed by all stakeholders
[5] Figure 4, MPI 087_SNA_2013
[6] Google Scholar, and NIWA library search 22 August 2013
[7] See Kerr and Latham 2011 for an interesting recent summary
[8] Figure 4, MPI 087_SNA_2013
[9] 4% recovery over 16 years calculated from paragraphs 5 and 146.
[10] POS = Pressure on Stock, or catch levels:  ˜downV  up^  same>