The Ministry is currently developing two new Ministry standards:
- Benthic Impact Standard
- Seabird Standard
Benthic Impact Standard
The Benthic Impact Standard will provide clarity on determining when there is an adverse effect on the benthic environment from fishing and whether the level of protection currently in place in New Zealand’s EEZ is sufficient.
The Ministry of Fisheries has contracted Standards New Zealand to develop a Benthic Impact Standard. The standard will determine when an effect of fishing on the seabed is adverse, and what range of actions and approaches should be undertaken to avoid, remedy, or mitigate this effect. Standards New Zealand will work with a committee of stakeholders to produce a standard.
A draft Benthic Impact Standard for public consultation is scheduled for completion in October this year and the final draft standard is due to be completed by the stakeholder committee and submitted to the Ministry in April 2011. Please refer to the A3 snapshot document for the timeline.
The Ministry has established a Government Reference Group for this project. The departments represented on this group includes; Ministry for the Environment, Ministry of Economic Development, Department of Conservation, Te Puni Kokiri and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The group will discuss the draft standard during its development and provide a whole of government perspective and strategic guideline.
The Seabird Standard
The Seabird Standard will ensure that the Government is meeting its legislative obligations and international commitments in relation to managing the effects of fishing on seabirds. A key component of the Standard will be to provide a clear statement of when fishing is adversely affecting seabirds.
Management measures necessary to meet the Standard will be implemented through Fisheries Plans. The Seabird Standard, and management measures necessary to meet the Standard, will also form the basis of New Zealand’s National Plan of Action for Seabirds (NPOA-Seabirds).
The seabird standard is currently undergoing internal consultation and analysis to ensure it fits with the standards framework and fisheries plan work.
The draft standard will be released for public consultation in November and the final standard completed by the end of June 2011.