Spreading Catch Effort


If everybody went to the same bay and harvested paua it wouldn’t take long to catch all the paua in that bay that were above the Minimum Legal Size (MLS). In the fishing industry this is called serial depletion.

To help avoid the incidence of serial depletion, there are a number of methods that the commercial paua harvesting sector can employ such as:

  1. We can establish a voluntary sub-division of a Quota Management Area. The size / boundaries of each area and the percentage of the Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC) that can come out of each area are agreed to by the industry. The result being that commercial paua harvesters can only catch a percentage of their Annual Catch Entitlement (ACE) from each area and need to travel to each of the other areas to harvest their entire ACE – the result is the spreading of their catch effort.
  2. It is impossible to know how many commercial paua harvesting teams have been at a location in the previous few months. If crews keep turning up at the easily accessible locations there is a very real treat of serial depletion. To help avoid this we are developing systems that will allow commercial paua harvesters to go on to the internet and see how many crews have been working on each part of the coast for the previous week / 2 weeks / month and 3 months. Crews will then be able to decide where the least amount of effort has occurred and where the best harvest rates / yields are being achieved.