Business South August 2022

| 25 FISHERIES SECTOR Pegasus Fishing Quota portfolio a real ‘juggling act’ Richard Loader While half of Pegasus Fishing’s catch of fresh fish is unloaded in Lyttelton, fish is also discharged at Greymouth, Bluff, Timaru and Picton. From ocean to your plate, it is highly probable that if your piece of delicious fresh fish was purchased in the greater Christchurch region it has come from one of the vessels belonging to Pegasus Fishing. Based in Lyttelton, Pegasus Fishing’s five vessels operate around the South Island, primarily supplying the United Fisheries auction market in Christchurch. While half of Pegasus Fishing’s catch of fresh fish is unloaded in Lyttelton, fish is also discharged at Bluff, Timaru, Picton and occasionally Greymouth. All fish is transported back to Christchurch. “We don’t process or freeze any fish at sea,” says Tony Threadwell, who founded the business almost forty years ago. “All my vessels are fresh fish boats, catching fish that’s then packed in ice, primarily for the local market. Because our focus is fresh fish landed in good quality our fishing trips are limited to two – five days.” Starting as a deck hand before getting his skippers license and working for other people as a skipper, commercial fishing has been Tony’s life. “I decided that if I was going to stay fishing I didn’t want to work for other people. So, I saved some money, bought a boat, and formed a company with no expectations other than to go fishing. Over time the business developed, I bought more boats and now employ about twenty-four sea going staff, along with an administration team.” The industry has changed significantly from when Tony first started. For one thing, he used to be able to do his administration work in 10 minutes on a Friday morning. Tony suspects the fishing industry has become the most regulated industry in New Zealand with a myriad of compliance hoops to jump through, and the Quota management system that requires constant balancing of quota portfolios. “There’s nothing wrong with the quota system – sustainability is the name of the game – it just takes a lot of administration time. New Zealand is not a single species fishery. You might be targeting red cod, and catch a whole lot of baracouta and warehou. We have a quota portfolio that covers that, but it’s a Aldridge Hydraulics Ltd. SPECIALISTS IN: Hydrostatic Transmission • Hydraulic Service, Repair, Design & Build • Marine • Consultancy • Full Engineering Facility 021 107 80 40 Unit 4, 13 Parkhouse Road, PO Box 37 176, Halswell Christchurch He Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Equipment Supply, Ice Banks, Water/Glycol Chillers, at Recovery Branches Nationwide Christchurch Support Office Email: Phone: (03) 339 2617 Energy Efficient Engineering, 24 Hour Service, Design Build, Preventative Maintenance, Supply & Installation Marine Service AVOID COSTLY DOWNTIME - call Hydraulink 24/7 for mobile service and repairs to keep your plant and equipment moving • DNV Certified Hose & Fittings • High level of quality & safety – ISO9001 certified • Manufacturing capabilities for custom work • 24/7 onsite & mobile service operated by skilled technicians • Hydraulink uses ‘Navy Tags’ for traceability of each hose assembly • AoM Certification Call Hydraulink 24/7 Bruce Watts 027 439 6683 juggling act. Having said that my boys are very good at targeting and catching what they want to catch. But in a multi-species fishery, by definition we catch multi-species.” Employing local people, with all goods and services sourced locally, Tony says the fishing industry plays a key role in the local economy. “Any money we make is spent locally, and if New Zealanders want to eat fresh fish there has to be an economic and sustainable fishing industry. Over the last decade the distribution of fresh fish has made significant improvements with the quality and diversity of fish that people are buying in the supermarkets so much better. To achieve that you have to have an economical and sustainable catching sector. People don’t seem to join the dots between going to the supermarket or the local fish shop to where the fish has come from. “We’re an industry that’s out of sight, out of mind and sometimes the publicity we get is not great. It disappoints me a wee bit that we don’t have a system where you can go down to the local waterfront and buy some fresh fish. It would be nice to have that social interaction where people come down, select their piece of fish, talk to the fishermen, take it home, fillet it up, make some fish stock out of the head and have a wonderful meal.” Committed to the industry and its future Tony says fishing is also a business. “If you don’t operate and treat it like a business, then you won’t be successful.”