In the survey of 28 countries, which included the 20 countries that landed the most fish, a strong correlation was found between the state of the country’s fish stocks and the quality of its fisheries management.
The research by Michael Melnychuck, a research scientist at the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington, and three co-authors was published by Washington’s National Academy of Sciences.
Seafood New Zealand Chief Executive, Tim Pankhurst, said the study was pleasing but not surprising.
“New Zealand’s Quota Management System is already recognised as one of the leading fisheries management systems in the world and it is good to have that reaffirmed in this paper out of the United States.
“It is consistent with annual reviews of New Zealand fish stocks assessed by Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) scientists, which show 96.8 percent of our catch is from stocks that are sustainable,” said Pankhurst
The latest MPI Stock status report available here; Status of NZ Fisheries
The healthy state of New Zealand’s fisheries has also been recognised by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), which last month certified the three main orange roughy fisheries on the Chatham Rise and Challenger Plateau. Hoki, hake, southern blue whiting, albacore tuna, and ling have also gained this valuable eco-label – which means 70 percent of New Zealand’s deep water catch has MSC certification.
In the US study, the three characteristics that were found to be of particular importance to a thriving fishery were the scientific assessment of the stock, limiting fishing pressure, and enforcing regulations.
The United States, Iceland, Norway and Russia were also in the top five healthiest fisheries in the world.