Sealord deep-sea fishing deal with 37 iwi lauded as a moment's watershed & # 39;



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The Sealord ship Thomas Harrison Hoki fishing in the Cook Strait. The Nga Tapuwae o Māui agreement, signed on Tuesday, will have about 60% of the iwi quota held in deepwater fisheries caught on Sealord's ships.

Ross Giblin

The Sealord ship Thomas Harrison Hoki fishing in the Cook Strait. The Nga Tapuwae o Māui agreement, signed on Tuesday, will have about 60% of the iwi quota held in deepwater fisheries caught on Sealord's ships.

A deep-water agreement between Nelson-based Sealord and 37 iwi groups is a "turning point" for Maori fishing, an industry leader said.

The agreement Nga Tapuwae the Māui was signed on Tuesday as a precursor to this week's Māori Fishing Conference in Auckland.

This will give Sealord fisheries access to the annual catch right (ACE) of 37 of the country's 58 groups in an agreement to increase efficiency and see more than 80% of profits returned to the iwi. t

Sealord, a Nelson-based fisher company, will have access to the ACE (annual catch group) of 37 iwi groups in an agreement to increase efficiency and see more than 80% of profits returned to iwi.

ALDEN WILLIAMS / FAIRFAX NZ

Sealord, a Nelson-based fisher company, will have access to the ACE (annual catch group) of 37 iwi groups in an agreement to increase efficiency and see more than 80% of profits returned to iwi.

Translated as following in the footsteps of Maui, the long-term arrangement will see about 60 percent of the iwi quota held in deep-sea fisheries – including hoki, orange roughy, jack mackerel and silver warehou – caught in Sealord vessels.

Sealord general operations manager Doug Paulin said the signing was the culmination of more than two years of discussions that would ultimately provide stability to the company's operations.

Following the arrival of the $ 75 million Tokatu deep-water trawler last year, Paulin said it would be possible to order a second new vessel, which would have the benefit of reducing company costs per kilo.

"What it allows us to do is to have confidence in investing in our fleet and now we have a reasonable idea of ​​the scale of our operations."

The agreement would also provide training and employment for iwi members.

"I see as a chance for the iwi to really start earning some of those things that were thought of when the Maori fishermen's settlement was enacted – that does not really mean how big or small you are, any iwi is welcome to join and get the same return.

"We are ensuring that everyone is involved in how we are going to fish and are exposed to the risk because if Sealord does not fish well, it will impact profits."

"For all intents and purposes, we would see this as a contract in perpetuity."

The agreement will take effect immediately. Paulin said the company was already fishing under the new arrangement.

Sealord is partially owned by Māori through Moana New Zealand and half of the Japanese fishing company Nissui.

The company reported net income of $ 24.3 million for the year ended September 2018, up from $ 18.5 million a year earlier.

Sealord chairman Whaimutu Dewes said while the company signed a similar agreement with some independent iwi collectives in 2014, this agreement was different.

"It's not just about growing returns – it's a business decision based on tikanga Maori, where all parties are learning from the previous arrangements to better manage our fisheries resources. Together we want to raise our goals to ensure fisheries continue be managed in a sustainable way, using best practices, with better performance.

Ngati Porou Seafoods Group chairman and acting chairman of the Nga Tapuwae Māui Mark Ngata described the signing of the agreement as "a turning point" in the history of Maori fishing.

"This unique partnership is very much in line with the intention of the Maori fishing settlement, which imagined the Maori working together, both large and small, for the benefit of all.

"In previous years, it was simply an ACE trade agreement, so iwi would receive its funds in advance – this particular partnership is a profit-sharing partnership whereby iwi is not only part of ACE's revenue side, but also profit Last."

Ngata said Nga Tapuwae Maui would operate as a parallel partnership with Sealord and its board of directors. The group was already involved in the decision on specifications for Tokatu.

"It's a meaningful partnership, but it's not there to manage it – instead, support it and make sure it's doing business based on its culture and what shareholders want."

Ngata said the fishing environment will become more difficult with more regulations. It took a huge investment to ensure that the venture had the best technology to collect the fish properly "because the old style of netting we used in the past, its days are numbered."

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