• Report
  • Summary

Upholding the value of pāua quota

This research looks at how we can uphold long-term fishery values, the value of commercial quota, and the ecological role that pāua play in the marine environment (August 2023)

This series of outputs from the Upholding the value of pāua quota project includes
Part 1: Environmental risks facing pāua and summarised natural hazard risks to pāua operations

Pāua is a taonga to Māori and for many others. The environmental risks facing pāua include climate change related ocean warming and ocean acidification, and sedimentation which, when combined with varying food quantity and quality, can affect pāua survivorship, growth and reproduction, and disease susceptibility. These stressors also negatively impact the macroalgae pāua food sources and settlement surfaces. Impact magnitude varies with pāua life stage, time of year, and location adding complexity to pāua population prediction and modelling. Climate change is also causing increasingly frequent and severe storms (natural hazards) which are damaging rural roading which has led to fishery access challenges and potentially impacting harvestability.

This research sought to document the real world commercial pāua sector challenges related to this environmental change. This report describes pāua biology, summarises the two environmental risks of climate change and sedimentation for pāua, including natural hazards and impacts on fishery access.

Part 2: Pāua fisheries, management and legal considerations

The pāua fishery is described along with the resource and fisheries management laws and policy it operates under. This context guides how the commercial wild harvest could be better managed to meet the challenges of the changing environment. The fishery is managed under the New Zealand Quota Management System. Other relevant legislative and public-private strategy processes are described in relation to Māori rights, climate, land-use, waste treatment, sediment control/erosion and freshwater.

The New Zealand pāua industry has five Pāua Management Advisory Committees which are collectives of quota owners, ACE holders, and divers. The Pāua Industry Council (PIC) supports PāuaMACs and advocates for the industry nationally. The pāua industry fishery management strategies and tools operate alongside the 1996 Fisheries Act framework to achieve fine scale management to manage pāua fisheries that reflect the population structure and biological characteristics of the species, which is not achievable using the QMA scale management tools available under the Act.

Part 3: Model description, financial perspectives, and pāua quota value risks

Fishery quota rights are unique given diversification inability, share raw material access, and management decisions largely beyond quota owner control. Climate change exacerbates these, which is not currently considered in quota valuation. This new ‘PAU2 climate related risk’ bioeconomic model shows stakeholders, quota owners, investors, and financers, the potential implications of climate associated risks through modelled scenarios.

Rapidly evolving investor, banking and finance sector environment social governance expectations (legal, regulatory, finance lending criteria, societal) reinforce the need to better understand climate risks and value related scenarios. Informed by the fishery biomass stock assessment model, our financial value model has limitations given the lack of robust impact data on multiple environmental stressor effects on pāua recruitment, instantaneous mortality, and growth. This key project finding suggests that better information is needed about the levels of environmental stressors and changes that affect pāua at a fishery scale.

  • Pāua quota model operation manual

    299 KB | Adobe Acrobat PDF file

  • Pāua quota valuation bio-economic model

    49 MB | Excel spreadsheet

  • Report appendices

    11 MB | Adobe Acrobat PDF file

  • Report: Upholding the value of pāua quota

    5.2 MB | Adobe Acrobat PDF file

  • Summary: Upholding the value of pāua quota

    1.8 MB | Adobe Acrobat PDF file