What is it?

Annual Catch Entitlements are what will be used to balance against catch from 1 October 2001.

ACE will be generated each year from ITQ, and will then be traded separate from ITQ. ITQ cannot be used to balance Catch, only the ACE it generates. ITQ will be expressed in shares of the TACC. ACE will be expressed in kilograms (kgs), based upon the shares held, and the TACC set at the start of that year. It gets more complex with highly variable stocks, but don’t worry about that for now.

What do I need to go fishing?

Under the 1996 Act, all you need to go fishing for most stocks is a permit.

There are some exemptions to this, some stocks require a minimum holding, Paua, Crays & Oysters as examples.

From there on, if you do not have sufficient ACE to cover your catch by the 15th of the month following catch, then you will get a Deemed value invoice, which you must pay within 20 days. If after 20 days the amount owing for deemed value is in excess of $1,000 then your permit will be suspended, and any further fishing will be a criminal offence.

What are interim, and annual Deemed Values?

There are two rates of deemed values, interim, and annual.

The interim rate is designed to act as a bond to encourage you to get ACE into your account. For most stocks it will be what Deemed values are now – allowing for ordinary adjustments.

The annual rate is designed to be a major disincentive to have any stocks out of balance at the end of the year. In most cases it will be about 20% higher than the interim, but in some it may be much larger. Initially these larger values will only apply to the single species fisheries – paua, cray, etc.

What other changes are there to reporting?

QMRs are now called MHRs (Monthly Harvest Returns) and are required to include all species landed, not just those under quota.

MHRs may be done on paper or electronically. Electronic should be cheaper, but no-one has made a decision on that as at time of writing this (May 2001).

My company will certainly be making software available to both fishers and LFRs, to allow LFRs to automatically email info to fishers, and fishers to receive info from multiple LFRs, to compile their MHRs.

Any alterations to MHRs now have to be on the appropriate form (paper or electronic). You can no longer just send in a new form, you have to say what line of the old one was wrong, what the new value is, and why it changed.

What else is there to watch out for?