• John Luxton
Fisheries and Aquaculture

Introducing species into the Quota Management system (QMS) is a complex issue Minister of fisheries, Hon John Luxton said today.

"The quota management system is about sustainably managing our fish resources for current and future generations. It also grants a valuable property right to fishers. Bringing new species into the system is complex.

"Since the introduction of the QMS we have seen our fishstocks enhanced and managed sustaiably. We have also seen some very good capital gains made by fishers who where given this additional property right overnight for free.

"We are now looking at bringing a further eight species into the QMS over the next two or three years as everyone recognises that this is important for sustainability reasons.

"A key question is why the tax payer should be asked to pay money to fishers who have been able to derive a valuable financial benefit from a public resource while paying little for the privilege.

"When these species are introduced into the quota management system, as well as being able to manage them on a sustainable basis, it will also mean current fishers with very limited current rights, will have much enhanced property rights and an ability to sell and trade their new property rights with significant capital gains.

Unlike Labour, the Government wants to work through this complex issue carefully and not just treat the tax payer as a softouch. Labour always seem to want to throw taxpayers money at any problem without fully working through complex issues such as this.

"As I have said previously, the introduction of each species is unique. I have written to industry seeking their views on proposed framework for these additional eight and asked for written responses by 22 October.

"I look forward to industry's response," Mr Luxton concluded.