Today the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) released a report following an investigation into the status and management of longfin eel.
Longfin eel are not a protected species and under the New Zealand threat classification system are listed as being ‘at risk – in decline.’
Longfin eel have been fished commercially for many years and were brought into the Quota Management system from 2000. The longfin eel fishery is managed by the Ministry for Primary Industries.
The Department of Conservation is responsible for the management of native fish species and freshwater habitats in the areas that we administer.
The report lists three specific recommendations to Parliament. These are:
- That the Minister for Primary Industries suspends the commercial catch of longfin eels until longfin eel stocks are shown to have recovered.
- That the Minister of Conservation directs his officials to use the policy mechanisms available to them to increase the protection for longfin eels and other threatened migratory fish.
- That the Minister of Primary Industries directs his officials to establish a fully-independent expert peer review panel to assess the full range of information available on the status of the longfin eel population.
The report was tabled in Parliament today at 2 pm.
DOC will not be commenting further until we have considered the recommendations and determined a course of action which will involve working with MPI.