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  • The small fishers with little or no quota who remained

    2024-06-11

    The small fishers with little or no quota who remained relied on quota leasing arrangements to continue their fishing operations. Such arrangements had relatively high transaction costs and by early 2000 it appeared that the demise of the small fisher was imminent [2]. The introduction in 2001 of the Annual Catch Entitlement (ACE) regime greatly simplified arrangements for fishers to buy ACE to cover catch. The ACE regime also provided a means by which quota owners could arrange for fishers to catch for them. This study examines the nature of the cooperative arrangements between small fishers reliant on the purchase of ACE and quota owners. It considers whether ACE-reliant fishers are likely to continue to be a significant part of New Zealand's inshore fishery.
    Quota management system Fishers who do not own quota shares are reliant on others to sell them ACE to cover their catch. A refundable interim deemed value charge is invoiced at the end of each month based on catch in excess of ACE. The regular monthly updating of a fisher's deemed value position is designed to prompt fishers to arrange ACE cover for their catch. If at the end of the fishing year total annual catch is in excess of ACE, an annual deemed value invoice is issued and must be paid by the fisher. Deemed value is the primary deterrent to catching in excess of ACE [3], [4]. If ACE is unobtainable during a fishing year, the fisher is faced with either paying deemed value, illegally discarding fish, or ceasing to fish [5]. Reliable, on-going access to ACE at stable prices is a fundamental prerequisite to the ACE reliant fisher's commercial viability. When a fishstock's total ACE is fully fished, ACE would be virtually impossible to buy. There is a perception that ACE fishers who must buy annual catch entitlement (ACE) might be forced out of the industry. Without a reliable supply of ACE, especially in critical bycatch stocks, an ACE fisher is not able to operate in the multispecies inshore fishery [6]. Additionally, the capital investment (such as fishing vessel and equipment) is significant. Thus, a rational decision maker needs an expectation that ACE can be sourced reliably over the long term. Without this, the Imiquimod to fish at sea would simply become a ‘race to ACE’ in the ACE market. This study investigates how ACE reliant fishers in one Fisheries Management Area obtained ACE in the 2014-15 fishing year.
    Methodology FMA3 has a great geographical spread running down the east coast of the South Island (see Fig. 1). The participants are widely dispersed but with major concentrations of fishers at four ports. FMA3 comprises three main fisheries areas: Kaikoura, Canterbury and Otago. It is broadly representative of the other inshore mixed fin fisheries around the Imiquimod New Zealand coast. Several of the fishstocks within the study area have ACE that is over-fished, making ACE unavailable to some ACE fishers (see Table 1). Note that ‘available ACE’ may exceed the TACC generated ACE as fishers are entitled to carry forward a certain amount of ACE unfished from the previous fishing year. It is the available ACE against which the balancing occurs. An ACE-reliant fisher is defined as one who is reliant on the ACE market for the substantive continuance of their operation. The threshold for defining ACE reliance for the study was set at 60% of catch being supported by third party ACE. Data for pulmonary circuit project was sourced from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and FishServe. MPI provided data for each ACE fisher showing the date and quantity of each fishstock landed and the identity of the licensed fish receiver (LFR) to whom the catch was transferred. FishServe supplied the ACE transaction details, including date, parties to the transaction and transfer price (where reported). These data sources were collated for each ACE fisher to determine the fishstocks caught, the associated ACE acquired (including its source) and the fishing method used. This analysis established the extent of each ACE fisher's reliance on sources of ACE for particular fishstocks. For a sample (one-third) of fishers, landings of all of their fishstocks were analysed. This comprehensive analysis was undertaken to establish whether there is variation in ACE suppliers and landing relationships over the entire range of a fisher's fishstock portfolio. For the rest of the fishers only their top five fishstocks (by volume) were analysed.