warnings weren’t enough to keep 60 plus people away
from the ninth overnight Hokianga Accord hui held in mid-August.
It was an opportunity for the mid north iwi fisheries forum
to hear about fishing technology innovations that undoubtedly
offer a silver lining for future fisheries management.
commercial fisherman from Napier, explained that by using
a combination of improved net design and altering fishing
methods, huge benefits can be gained. Dramatically reducing
fuel consumption, juvenile mortality (death rate) and the
amount of non-target (by-catch) fish killed while catching
more of the target species are the noteworthy outcomes achieved
on his vessel the Nancy Glen II.
Following these revelations was the presentation from Paul
Barnes, inventor and fisheries advocate, explaining how
both commercial and non-commercial fishers can reduce the
amount of wastage merely by changing the type of hooks they
use to catch fish. The Target Snapper Hook is the result
of years of research which has been peer reviewed by independent
scientists. As well as increasing the numbers of bigger
fish caught, the Target Hook reduces the mortality of gut
hooked, undersize fish by over 90%.
These technological advances had the assembled crowd of
both Maori and non-Maori shaking their collective head and
asking questions as to why these innovations were not being
Answers ranged from reluctance on behalf of the fishing
industry to change methods and reduce their by-catch, the
value of that by-catch and the lack of incentives for any
change. A serious flaw within the current quota management
system (QMS) framework is that there are no incentives for
fishers to conserve. Meaningful rewards, such as an increase
in quota, have to be available before we are likely to see
any widespread change.
Both speakers have been invited to present an update at
the next Accord hui, on the 9th and 10th November at Waipapa
marae, Auckland University.
Te Raa Nehua, discussed the Hokianga Accord’s recent
submission on the future management of North Island tuna
(eels). The submission was sent to the Ministry of Fisheries
(MFish) at the end of July after widespread consultation
amongst non-commercial fishing groups and is online at the
North Island Tuna (eel)
Management page here.
Abe Witana, Te Rarawa, updated the Accord on the activities
of Te Hiku O Te Ika Forum. This far north forum is under
development, and unlike the Hokianga Accord, still has the
support of MFish.
Implications of the outcome of the Kahawai Legal Challenge
and MFish’ Shared Fisheries process were discussed
as was the upcoming Marine Protected Areas project, a joint
venture by MFish and the Department of Conservation.
A full report of the hui will soon be available online alongside
previous reports at www.HokiangaAccord.co.nz.
The Hokianga Accord includes Ngapuhi, Ngati Whatua, commercial,
customary and amateur fishing interests. The New Zealand
Big Game Fishing Council and fisheries advocacy group option4
are staunch supporters of the Accord and their objective
of “more fish in the water/ kia maha atu nga ika i
roto i te wai”.