Commercial pāua harvesting is managed under Fisheries Plans that are prepared by PauaMACs in consultation with iwi, local communities and Fisheries New Zealand.
The plans set out the strategies and rules that the industry implements to ensure pāua fisheries are managed sustainably. For example, fisheries plans describe how the industry will implement catch-spreading arrangements to avoid localised depletion, and higher minimum harvest sizes to safeguard productivity. The fisheries plans are formally approved by the Minister for Oceans and Fisheries under section 11A of the Fisheries Act 1996.
The pāua industry supports the preparation and implementation of fisheries plans to manage commercial harvesting because these plans:
Set out a coordinated strategy for sustainable management;
Enable more sophisticated and innovative management approaches such as fine-scale management of pāua harvesting;
Enhance engagement in fisheries management by pāua quota owners and harvesters, iwi, local communities, and non-commercial fishing sectors; and
Help to address the impacts of land-based activities (managed under the Resource Management Act) on pāua habitat.
To date, pāua fisheries plans have been approved for the Chatham Islands (PAU4) and Kaikōura/Canterbury (PAU3A and PAU3B) and endorsed for Marlborough/Nelson (PAU7). PauaMACs are currently completing fisheries plans for the Fiordland, Stewart Island and Otago fisheries (PAU5A, 5B and 5D) and for the Wairarapa (PAU2).
Fisheries plans set out a strategy to ensure sustainable management of pāua
Fisheries Plans are formally approved by the Minister for Oceans and Fisheries
To date, three Fisheries Plans have been approved and/or endorsed
Iwi and local communities are at the heart of Fisheries Plans consultations
PauaMACs are currently completing fisheries plans for the Fiordland, Stewart Island and Otago fisheries (PAU5A, 5B and 5D).
The draft Fisheries Plan document will be shared with industry when it becomes available.
PAU3A/3B FISHERIES PLAN
The proposal to subdivide the PAU3 quota management areas into two small quota areas came at the request of PAU3 quota owners under section 25A of the Fisheries Act 1996. The subdivision was to support finer scale management of this fishery which was significantly affected by the 2016 Kaikōura earthquakes while allowing the northern earthquake-affected part of the fishery (PAU3A) to be separately managed to ensure pāua stocks rebuilt rapidly.
PAU4 FISHERIES PLAN
Fisheries New Zealand received 19 submissions from tangata whenua, quota holders, industry and individuals about the draft plan. All submissions supported the proposed plan and the need for the fishery to be managed on a smaller scale. The Minister of Fisheries has approved the plan.
PAU7 FISHERIES PLAN
PAU7's high value for iwi and all fishing sectors has meant the fishery has been intensively fished for many years. In addition to fishing pressure, environmental changes in the Marlborough Sounds and earthquake uplift in the Cape Campbell area have damaged pāua habitat. As a result of these pressures, PAU7 stock abundance was below the default management target.
The PAU7 Fisheries Plan aims to achieve more responsive and finer-scale management through:
Boosting the rate of stock rebuild using the mechanism of ACE shelving
Controlling commercial fishing activity at a sub-QMA level, including catch spreading and variable minimum harvest sizes
Enhancing local pāua populations using techniques such as out-planting and translocation.
PAU2 FISHERIES PLAN
PauaMACs are currently completing fisheries plans for the Wairarapa (PAU2) fishery. The draft Fisheries Plan document will be shared with industry when it becomes available.