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Research Results

70% want bigger cuts in tarakihi quota

17 Oct 19

Credit: RNZ
70% want bigger cuts in tarakihi quota
Tarakihi - down to 15.9% of original stocks: public concerned

Seventy percent of New Zealanders want the commercial fishing quota for tarakihi cut dramatically to help the country’s fish and chips favourite to recover, a new survey has revealed.


The survey conducted by Horizon Research for LegaSea, a not-for-profit organisation raising awareness of issues affecting the marine environment, found 70% want a cut of between 40% and 60% to help tarakihi stocks replenish and become more plentiful.  

This is in contrast to Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash’s latest decision to cut commercial catch limits by just 10% even in light of latest research showing East Coast stocks of tarakihi have now been fished down to 15.9% of their original levels.

“The survey shows confidence in fisheries management from the public is very low. Only 8 per cent of New Zealanders support the Minister’s decision for a 10 per cent reduction of tarakihi catch,” said LegaSea spokesman Scott Macindoe.

“At that rate it could take 20 years for the tarakihi fishery on the East Coast of New Zealand to recover, and even that’s not guaranteed,” says Macindoe.

The survey of 1000 adults conducted between October 3-9 reflects similar trends found in another Horizon Research poll earlier this year which found more than half (54%) of adult New Zealanders  believe the country’s inshore fish stocks are being over exploited commercially.

Key poll findings are:

  • 38% of Kiwis think the Quota Management System is not working effectively and needs reform. Only 8% think it is fine as it is
  • 38% believe the Government should look into reforming the Quota Management System. Only 3% think the Government should not look into reforms.
  • 8% support the Minister of Fisheries latest decision to reduce tarakihi commercial catch limits on the east coast by 10%. 70% support a reduction of 40% to 60%.
  • East coast tarakihi is estimated to be at 15.9% of original stock size. The management target is 40%.

LegaSea expects the Minister will review and reduce tarakihi catch levels again in 2020, for the third consecutive year.

LegaSea is a non-profit organisation aiming to make sure there is more fish in the sea. LegaSea is developing a policy to reform fisheries to deliver greater benefits for all stakeholders. Its polling of what New Zealanders know and want is part of that major project.

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