Decision - What Will It Bring?
Kahawai have been stolen
from the people of this country and we want our rights to this fishery
restored. The sooner the Minister and Ministry accept this, the
sooner we will see justice and the stock rebuilt. The Minister is
about to make his decision on this most important fishery. Will
he support the urgent rebuild that is required? Or will he just
follow MFish advice and allow the decimation of kahawai to continue?
The public made more than
3000 submissions demanding that the theft of the "peoples fish"
should not be allowed to continue. They asked the Minister to ignore
previous commercial purse seine catch history and thereby allow
the kahawai schools to return to the coast. All we want is for our
kids to enjoy what we enjoyed when we were young. But those fish
need to be there for them to catch.
To all those who made a submission,
filled out the coupon in the NZ Fishing News or the newspapers –
thank you. Without your support we could not have demonstrated the
value the public place on restoring this fishery to what it should
option4 acknowledges the
support of the NZ Big Game Fishing Council, Dive NZ, Fishing Coast
to Coast, NZ Fishing World, and of course NZ Fishing News. Support
from these people has enabled the public to be aware of what is
being proposed and what needs to be done to counter that. Thank
you all. Watch this space.
The DoC machine continues
to roll on. Ignoring all objections, including a clear call for
an integrated, coordinated approach to marine protection, the Department
of Conservation has decided that the 50,100 ha Great Barrier Island
marine reserve application will proceed. And if that is not enough
to deal with, they have also proposed Northland's Mimiwhangata marine
park boundaries should be extended and become a marine reserve.
Nugget Point has also become an area of interest again. Where is
the logic? The public are asking for better management of the marine
environment but not at the cost of access alone.
DOC needs to think about
strategies for effective marine protection that do not simply focus
on eliminating fishing but significantly improve the quality of
our marine environment. It is not just about the snapper and crayfish
we catch, it is about looking at the threats to the environment,
finding solutions and encouraging community involvement. By simply
staking out no-take areas and producing thousands of glossy brochures
they will not achieve the public support they require to make it
This effort would be so much
more effective if they acknowledged the damage done to the environment
by wholesale slaughter of fish stocks by the use of industrial methods
such as trawl nets and dredges that destroy the seafloor. While
DoC might say this is a management issue and marine reserves are
not fisheries management tools they are forcing people to concentrate
their effort into smaller and smaller areas. Without a corresponding
reduction in overall catch rates the gains made in marine reserves
achieve very little for the accessible areas. Will we see increasing
destruction in new areas? In the case of Great Barrier DoC does
not seem to have the resources to police a marine reserve out to
the 12-mile limit let alone fund the scientific research that is
the fundamental objective of the Marine Reserves Act.
There are so many tools including
mataitai, taiapure and seasonal closures that can be used in the
effort to protect our marine environment. But for DoC to acknowledge
the tools available under the Fisheries Act means they will have
to forego control and cede to fisheries management rather than their
ultimate tool, the Marine Reserves Act 1971. So maybe this is not
about marine reserves after all. Is this a product of a government
department bullying its way into the marine environment to deliver
an arbitrary target of 10% of the territorial sea in marine protected
areas by 2010?
Peter Blackwell in the Barrier
Bulletin made a very salient point recently, "DoC is clearly
stating they will proceed regardless of what the people want or
think. That blatantly shows us abuse of power and lack of respect
for the people." In relation to historical Treaty issues: "It is
established that the nation and especially the political powers
and the legal fraternity clearly accept that the government of the
day acted wrongly by taking land and assets from the Maori people
with heavy handed methods, which were wrong and now deemed as unlawful.
Proper consultation could not have taken place and the people were
overpowered by politics and the current generations of taxpayers
must now pay. Does it not seem distasteful and very wrong that in
parallel to us compensating for past political wrongdoing DoC are
charging ahead with their land and sea grab against the people's
What can you do?
Objections or submissions
in support of the DoC application for a marine reserve at Great
Barrier can be addressed to: Director General of Conservation c/o
Auckland Conservator, Department of Conservation Private Bag 68-908
Newton, Auckland. Or email email@example.com
. You only have until October 2 nd to have your say. Check your
local tackle retail outlet for a petition form to sign in opposition
to this application.
Submissions on the Mimiwhangata
proposal can be directed to Department of Conservation Northland
Conservancy Office, PO Box 842 Whangarei. Vern at Oakura Bait and
Tackle is very active regarding this proposal and has established
a group called PRAGAMR. People's Rights Action Group Against Marine
Reserves. Give Vern a call if you want to know more on 09 4336581.
|What else can you do?
|Print this and post on your noticeboard
|Make a donation
|Fill out a Barrier petition form
|Pass it On. Let others know about this issue and how they
can be kept informed