Stronger paua business from ecosystem services review

6 Jul 2015
Aotearoa Fisheries Ltd
ESR Case Study - Aotearoa Fisheries Ltd

Aotearoa Fisheries Ltd

Loss of kelp in the Marlborough Sounds is a serious threat to local pāua and other marine life which rely on the seaweed for food and habitat. Potentially as much as 50-70% of kelp has died off in some areas and one of the main causes may be land-based sedimentation.

This is one of several eye-opening issues that Aotearoa Fisheries Ltd, New Zealand's largest Māori-owned fishing company, discovered when it completed an ecosystem review (ESR) of its pāua fishery with the Sustainable Business Council.

Aotearoa Fisheries processes and exports about 650 tonnes of wild pāua a year which accounts for about 20 per cent of its turnover. Armed with a stronger understanding of some of the risks faced by this taonga (treasure), Aotearoa Fisheries is now working closely with the Department of Conservation's chief scientist, Crown research institutes like Landcare Research and other primary industry businesses to address the loss of kelpin the area. Addressing this issue means Aotearoa Fisheries will be able to continue its kaitiakitanga (stewardship) of New Zealand's pāua fishery for many years into the future.