Fishing quotas

The Minister of Fisheries controls the fishing quotas for commercial fishing. Yesterday the Minister said that the quota for Hoki will increase from 120,000 tonnes to 130,000 tonnes. This is because the Ministry’s scientists say the numbers of Hoki in the sea around New Zealand have increased. The year 2001 was the peak for Hoki fishing when the quota was 250,000 tonnes. However, the numbers of fish decreased after that so the Ministry of Fisheries reduced the quota to 100,000 tonnes in 2004, and again to 90,000 tonnes in 2007.

The Minister reduced the quota for Orange Roughy and Bluenose fish because scientists say their numbers are decreasing. The Minister often changes quotas at this time of year. Quotas are from October 1st for a year.

Hoki is our second most important seafood export. Last year New Zealand exports of Hoki earned $172m. Lobster exports are the number one seafood export, bringing in $229m to the country. Mussels are just behind Hoki at $171m. The top five countries which buy our seafood are Australia which paid $286m, Hong Kong $250m, China $200m, USA $178m and Japan $129m.

quota – the amount commercial fisherman can catch
commercial fishing – done in fishing boats by people who do this as their job.
peak – at the top
reduce – make less e.g. reduce speed
seafood includes fish, lobsters, mussels etc. (Note: one fish, many fish. The plural is usually the same as the singular).

Listening to numbers
There are a lot of numbers in this text – money, weight and years. Listen without looking at the text and try to write down the numbers you hear. Check your answers.

Why does the Ministry of Fisheries set quotas? Why did the Minister increase the quota of Hoki?
How does the Ministry check that fishing boats do not carry more than their quota of fish?
How can scientists count the fish in the sea?

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