Catch per unit effort analysis of the commercial blue cod fishery in BCO 4

Trophia has been contracted by the New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries :

  1. To characterise the BCO 4 fishery

  1. To analyse CPUE trends in commercial BCO 4 fishery up to the end of 2008/2009

The South East Chatham Rise BCO 4 fishery may once have been a labour intensive handline fishery,but blue cod are now taken mostly by cod pots. Before the introduction of the QMS, there were economic constraints to the development of the fishery at the Chatham Islands (BCO 4), however, since then and with the advent of cod pots it rapidly redeveloped. The TACC for BCO 4 was set in 1986/87 at 600 t and by 2001-02 had increased to 759 t. Catches, however, have been considerably lower than the TACC for most of that time and had only approached the TACC by the early 2000’s. In BCO 4 the commercial fishery landed 736 t in the 2006/07 fishing year making it the second most important BCO fishery nationally. In 2007/08, catches exceeded the TACC for the first time.

There is currently no accepted means of monitoring blue cod in BCO4.

Relative abundance indices from trawl surveys are available for BCO 3, BCO 5 and BCO 7, but these have not been used because of the high variance and concerns that this method may not appropriately sample blue cod populations (MFish 2009).

It is anticipated that potting targeted at blue cod will be the main method taking BCO 4 and the most likely contender for monitoring CPUE.