stock assessment and TAC-setting process. The process is open to all users of the resource and all groups with interests in the fisheries, including the Maori, the commercial industry, recreational fishermen, and environmental-conservation groups. User groups can be represented by consultants, and they have been employed particularly by the commercial industry. All stock assessment data collected by the Ministry of Fisheries are made available (at cost) to all participants in the process. The usual caveats regarding commercial sensitivity apply to the release of catch and effort data collected from the industry. The data are provided only in an aggregated form so that individual fishermen and/or companies cannot be identified.

The foundation of the stock assessment process lies in the Fishery Assessment Working Groups. The working groups analyze the available fishery and research data and prepare draft reports giving the details of the stock assessments and status of the stocks according to agreed terms of reference for all 179 Fishstocks in the QMS.

Fishstocks for which the stock assessments indicate a substantial change in the yield estimates or status of the stocks are referred to the Fishery Assessment Plenary. The plenary session is open to all participants in the process and reviews the data and analyses produced by the working groups. The stock assessment results from the plenary are used as a basis for preparation by the Ministry of Fisheries of an initial position paper providing advice to the Minister of Fisheries as to which Fishstocks may be considered for changes to TACs and other management measures for the following fishing year. Other information (e.g., socioeconomic, environmental) is included in the discussions at this stage. This advice paper is also made available to the users and forms the basis for discussion at a series of consultative meetings between the Ministry of Fisheries and these groups.

After the consultative meetings between the Ministry of Fisheries and the user groups, the Minister of Fisheries holds a series of meetings with users to obtain their views on any proposed management changes. The final authority to decide on TAC changes lies with the Minister of Fisheries.

Economic and Social Outcomes for the Fishery. The following major economic and social outcomes of New Zealand's ITQ program have also been identified.

Secure Access to the Resource. The allocation of quota shares in perpetuity has guaranteed security of access to the resource. When rock lobsters were introduced into the QMS in 1990, court action taken by Maori was settled when the government agreed to rock lobster ITQ being issued for a 25-year term. The settlement of Maori fishing rights issues with the passage of the Treaty of Waitangi (Fisheries Claims) Settlement Act in 1992 resulted in the lifting of the injunction.

A Market-Oriented Industry Structured by Market Forces. Dewees (1989)

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