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Source: Ministry for Primary Industries

Closing Date:

Contact: Fisheries and aquaculture policy

Have your say

Fisheries New Zealand is seeking feedback on a whether to enable uncaught rock lobster commercial Annual Catch Entitlement (ACE) to be carried forward into the next fishing year (which begins 1 April 2020).

Submissions are open until 12pm on 24 February 2020.

Tell us what you think about the 3 options

The 3 options that we are consulting on are:

A. Retaining the status quo: Making no changes to the Act, and not enabling rock lobster ACE carry forward; or

B. Enabling carry forward of up to 10% of the total rock lobster ACE, if uncaught by individual fishers; or

C. In addition to option B, also enabling the one-off carry forward of all uncaught rock lobster ACE, beyond 10%

Consultation document

Whether to enable Annual Catch Entitlement carry forward for rock lobster [PDF, 1 MB]

Reasons for this consultation

The outbreak of the novel Coronavirus has led to the collapse of demand for live rock lobster in the Chinese market, during the Chinese New Year period. This is typically a period of high live rock lobster demand and high prices. China is the leading export market for live New Zealand rock lobster, accounting for 98% to 99% of all exports.

It is uncertain how long low demand for Chinese exports will continue, or whether the industry will be able to find alternative markets before the end of the fishing year.

For most other species managed within the Quota Management System, ACE holders are able to carry forward up to 10% of their individual total ACE holdings that may not have been caught by the end of the fishing year. However, for all rock lobster stocks no uncaught ACE can be carried forward under the current rules.

There is an opportunity to provide relief to rock lobster fishers highly exposed to the unexpected market impacts of the Coronavirus outbreak, without creating sustainability risks, in conjunction with measures they can take themselves. Enabling ACE carry forward would allow for fishers to defer the catch of rock lobster to the next fishing year, when export markets for live rock lobster are likely to have improved.

Making your submission

Email your feedback on the consultation document by 12pm on 24 February 2020 to

In your submission, include:

  • the title of the consultation document
  • your name and title
  • your organisation’s name (if you are submitting on behalf of an organisation, and whether your submission represents the whole organisation or a section of it)
  • your contact details (such as phone number, address, and email).

While we prefer email, you can send your submission by post to:

Inshore Fisheries Management
Fisheries New Zealand
PO Box 2526
Wellington 6140
New Zealand.

Submissions are public information

Note, that any submission you make becomes public information. People can ask for copies of submissions under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA says we have to make submissions available unless we have a good reason for withholding it.  That is explained in sections 6 and 9 of the OIA.

Tell us if you think there are grounds to withhold specific information in your submission. Reasons might include that it’s commercially sensitive or it’s personal information. However, any decision MPI makes to withhold information can be reviewed by the Ombudsman, who may tell us to release it.