Wednesday 29th October 2014
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Sealord has signed a quota pooling deal with three separate iwi collectives which will see New Zealand's second-largest fishing company share profits obtained from the catching, processing and selling of the fish.
The Nelson-based company has signed five-year arrangements with the Top of the South Collective, which includes Ngati Koata, Ngati Tama and Te Atiawa iwi, The Te Atiawa Taranaki and Te Kupenga o Maniapoto which gives Sealord the annual catch entitlements (ACE) of the iwi in a profit-sharing deal, they said in a joint statement. The quotas will mean up to 4,800 tonne of hoki, orange roughy, southern blue whiting and alfonsino will be caught on Sealord's vessels, and will also provide iwi members fishing scholarships and employment opportunities.
"Sealord has been developing relationships with iwi through Ihu to Mai which we believe benefits all parties," fishing general manager Doug Paulin said. "Ihu to Mai increases the long-term access to quota for Sealord and provides a more direct influence in the way fishing assets are utilised for iwi."
Sealord, which is jointly owned by Maori tribal interests through Aotearoa Fisheries and Japan’s Nippon Suisan Kaisha, last month announced plans to downsize its Nelson wetfish factory, saying it wasn't economically viable in the face of rising costs, flat fish prices, and a strong kiwi dollar.
Top of the South Collective's Pat Park said the deal extends the group's relationship with Sealord that already exists through its share in Aotearoa Fisheries, and provides the opportunity to seek a bigger return on fishing assets.
Te Atiawa spokesman Alan Riwaka said the agreement would increase returns usually received from the ACE quota, a sentiment shared by Te Kupenga spokesman Tony Magner.
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