July 12, 2022
Moana tools help predict fisheries changes
The fishing industry is trying to understand the effect of rising seawater temperatures on fish stocks and locations.
Fisheries consultant and former Aotearoa Fisheries business development manager Tony Craig is part of the Moana Project, a collaboration of 54 experts from 14 national and international organisations which has accumulated data on surface ocean temperatures going back 25 years and created some reporting and forecasting tools.
He says as fish quota has been set and allocated based on what was caught in particular areas, changes in spawning and migration patterns can have implications for iwi holdings.
Part of the project involved interviewing fishers to collect anecdotal evidence about changed spawning behaviour and how fish are turning up at different times of the year or outside their usual spread.
“We need as a society to keep asking ourselves what’s the likely impact of these changes and that’s where the Moana Project is introducing more predictability into what our temperatures are going to look like, what that might mean for particular fish stocks and how we manage those in the future is critical to ensure we are fishing sustainably and we are also maximising the value out of our fisheries,” Mr Craig says.
See the work of the Moana Project here: https://www.moanaproject.org/