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option4 Update #
28 - June Fishing News
The right to fish for food
The Reference Group have now met four times. The complete record
of the 2003 process has been assembled and is on site at www.option4.co.nz/referencegroup.htm
Some 300 pages of heavy duty reading for the ultra keen. The Reference
Group is scheduled to meet the Minister late in May. We hope to
be able to report next month on tangible progress made towards securing
the right for the public to fish for food and continue to be able
to catch a reasonable daily bag limit.
West Coast Integrated Management
The "Draft Proposal for Public Discussion" document for
Auckland's Wild West Coast prepared by Forest and Bird, in consultation
with the West Coast Working Group was released in March.. The document
offers a range of suggestions for further protection of the marine
environment. You are asked to provide feedback using the questionnaire
contained within the Proposal Document. option4 have successfully
negotiated for the ability to allow you to complete this questionnaire
The main thrust of the initiative is to create a Marine Park. When
we attended the public meetings and asked if the goal was a marine
reserve network or a Marine Park, Ken Catt, the convenor of the
West Coast Working Group (and secretary of Forest and Bird, Waitakere),
answered that the West Coast Working Group's aim is "only to
set up a Marine Park". However, the proposal discusses marine
reserves at length. The Process Graph offered on Page 4 is that
of a marine reserve process. Whilst being non specific as to marine
reserve boundaries there is no doubt that marine reserves are high
on the wish list of the Working Group. Forest and Bird make no secret
of their desire to see vast tracts of our waters locked up forever.
Lets not be lulled into a false sense of security.
The proposal states "In theory the Marine Park may be thought
of as a legislative tool box in which all other legislation is used
and monitored". "The establishment of a Marine Park will
require special legislation"
The proposal document states "The integrated marine management
plan is made up of 5 main elements"
- Marine Park
- Marine Mammal Sanctuary
- Marine Reserve Network
- Maori Fishery Management Tools
- Shoreline and Hinterland Conservation Areas
- However, there is no mention whatsoever of Maori Fishery Management
Tools or Shoreline and Hinterland Conservation Areas within the
"Boundary Options" section of the proposal - its almost
as if there is a page missing - very confusing.
In our opinion, this consultation is so non-specific and incomplete
as to make any consultation outcomes valid only for a Marine Park
We are also quite clear that the process to formulate this proposal
has failed to adequately consult with the well recognised public
fishing representative organisations such as NZRFC, NZBGFC and option4,
not to mention other recreational users of this coast.
One of the key threats identified is the over harvesting of the
intertidal zone shellfisheries. The only mechanism promoted in the
Plan maps to address this threat are marine reserves, which fail
to specify any boundaries. Whilst maori customary fisheries management
tools are paid lip service there are no details nor evidence of
effort made to really explore these powerful tools.
Most people accept that the current harvesting regulations are
ineffective and not enforced. Obviously it is long overdue for us
to have some really good tools and agency resourcing that allow
coastal communities to make a difference - not simply lock the public
out and throw the keys away.
When you make submission to these proposals it is important that
you take the time to read the Background Information made available
and add your comment. If you would like to receive a form directly
from Forest and Bird, please call them on 09 3033079.
Tiritiri Marine Reserve.
The submission from Tiritiri Action Group to New Zealand Underwater's
proposal is now online at option4.co.nz No sign of the promised
copy of the budget for this proposal from NZUA yet.
Some Balance to the marine reserve
For those interested in some real information and balanced argument
about marine reserves please go to www.seafriends.org.nz.
Here, Dr Floor Anthoni has compiled an incredible resource for those
wrestling with the value of marine reserves. Key messages - "Marine
reserves in the right places for the right reasons". "What's
the hurry?" "Marine reserves do nothing for the fundamental
issues of water quality and over fishing" "We are facing
a future with unknown problems like mass mortalities, disease and
The Frequently Asked Questions section of this huge website is
particularly useful for those considering making submission to any
marine reserve proposal or application. Please also read the "Myths
and Fallacies" section where many of the recent articles promoting
marine reserves are dissected, rebutted and de-bunked. All information
on this website is there for your use - copy, print, share or whatever.
option4 exists to defend the rights of the public to fish for food.
This sees us fully engaged with the Reference Group process with
the Ministry and Minister. More recently, the wave of proposals
for Marine Reserves has seen option4 become very involved in a support
and coordination capacity with the various groups that have formed
up to represent the public interest.
The business of fisheries management goes on. option4 is committed
to submitting on Fishery Management proposals that effect inshore
shared fisheries allocation decisions. There are over 40 new species
being introduced to the QMS, many of which are of real importance
to you, the public food fisher. Take kingfish for example. It is
critical that this fishery has a very low Total Allowable Commercial
Catch set. The list goes on.
The work that option4, NZBGFC and the New Zealand Recreational
Fishing Council deliver on behalf of the public is done voluntarily
and willingly. At a guess, at least 20,000 hours per annum - conservatively.
This work will go on regardless of your response to this request
for money. It is the quality of the result of all this work that
counts. We have recently decided that a full time Coordinator is
essential. One of the primary tasks is the coordination of Project
Funding. At this stage we have 6 projects identified, each with
its own set of goals, methodologies and budgets. These will be the
subject of Grant Applications that will go out far and wide. Hopefully
we will achieve balanced books.
Maintaining and building the Database is another key task. In the
meantime, we need money and we need it NOW. PLEASE - GIVE GENEROUSLY
. Please post your cheques to option4 Fighting Fund c/o Fishing
News, PO Box 12965, Penrose, Auckland. Alternatively call us on
09 5205809 to discuss further.
To those many, many people who have already contributed - THANKYOU.