Only some of these questions have been blessed with an answer yet.
There are a number of answers in the pipeline.
What's wrong with the status quo?
The problem with the Ministry's current fisheries management system is that it is ponderous and has been allowed to run down. It is generally unresponsive to recreational issues.
How much money is currently/historically committed to managing recreational fisheries? How is it allocated to achieve management of recreational fisheries?
It is not clear cut from their Annual Report but for the year ending 30 June 2000 the Ministry of Fisheries spent about $2.5 million on recreational and environmental research, management and education and about $2.5 million on enforcement in recreational monitoring and detection.
What is the total budget for the "Soundings" document creation and subsequent promotion, public consultation? How is this budget broken down?
For the year ending 30 June 2000 the Ministry of Fisheries spent $330,000 on the recreational rights framework from a budget of $363,000.
Have there been any surveys of public opinion regards Recreational fishing rights other than the "Soundings" document? If so, what did they indicate?
Waiting an answer.
What is the budget for managing/implementing Customary Fisheries management?
It is not clear cut from their Annual Report but for the year ending 30 June 2000 the Ministry of Fisheries spent about $2.2 million on customary research, management and education and about $2 million on enforcement in customary monitoring and detection
The Fisheries Act 1996 Section XV, allows for the setting up of a National Fisheries Advisory Council to advise the Minister on such areas as sustainability, setting of TAC and addition of new species to the Quota Management System. Has this has ever been done?
Answer #1 - It has never been done. From what I recall this was an idea supported strongly by Doug Kidd at the time but was opposed by the Ministry. It got into the Act but there were many provisions that took time to implement and this one hasn't come close but it is still there. In the Fisheries Bill was also provision for Regional Fisheries Management Boards. This was cut out during the select committee stage. Again MFish was strongly opposed.
Answer # 2 - The NFAC was inserted in the Fisheries Act 1996 with constant lobbying by the NZRFC and environmental sectors. The Director of Fisheries Policy of the day was Phil Major and the Minister we negotiated with being Doug Kidd.
This was intended to allow commercial, recreational, environmental and Maori sectors to give advice to the Minister of the day in contrast with advice given to the Minister by the Ministry of Fisheries (MFish).The Commercial sector and also sectors of MFish did their utmost to stop this section being legislated.
We believe from a good source that there was "vote for Fisheries funding" about 1998 that also included funding to set up the NFAC. By now Both Phil Major and Doug Kidd were out of the equation and the money intended was used by MOF for other purposes. MFish and Minister Luxton denied this at the time.
Since then there has been further lobbying by the RFC to get it kick started again - regrettably with no success.
As has been suggested, we should continue to lobby for the NFAC to be implemented as non-commercial are really now the only sector that does not have sufficient political clout or political lobbying ability to be fully involved in the continuing fisheries management devolution processes.
How are Marlin are protected from commercial exploitation? Which piece of legislation protects this species?
Commercial fishers are prohibited from taking any Billfish other than Swordfish by any method in the NZ 200 mile zone. This is in the law as a result of an amendment to "The Fisheries (Auckland and Kermadec Areas Commercial Fishing) Regulations 1986". Other regions have similar regulations. The regulations changed a bit since being introduced in 1987. The last update was made in 1995. Commercial Tuna Longliners have been asking for a change to allow them to keep some striped marlin.
This has been strongly resisted by the NZ Big Game Fishing Council and the NZ Recreational Fishing Council