by the option4 team
This article was originally published in the New Zealand Fishing News August 2006 edition.
The Hokianga Accord has a desire to have more fish in the water. “Kia maha atu nga ika i roto te wai.” option4 has been fully supportive of the mid-north Iwi Forum since last year.
A comprehensive record of meetings and hui is online and we encourage you to read it and give us your feedback. http://option4.co.nz/Fish_Forums/hokianga.htm
If you are keen to be at the next hui of the Accord in Ruawai, Northland, from July 20th to 21st please call Trish on (09) 8186205 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Recreational fishing representatives were so concerned about the direction of the Ministry's Shared Fisheries Policy process a meeting was called to discuss a collective response.
The Shared Fisheries process is similar to the Soundings consultation in 2000. MFish want to redefine how our fisheries are allocated between commercial and non-commercial fishers.
A letter was sent to Jim Anderton, the Minister of Fisheries outlining the major issues from Ngapuhi, the New Zealand Big Game Fishing Council, the New Zealand Recreational Fishing Council and option4. The full text of the consensus letter is online at http://option4.co.nz/Fisheries_Mgmt/sfslcons506.htm.
The main points included in the May 19th letter are as follows,
“Just so there can be no misunderstanding in the future we want it recorded the following issues (amongst others) have also been raised and need to be included in the project.
- Manage key fish stocks at or above or significantly above Bmsy
- Recognise historical over allocations of key fish stocks to commercial interests and the need to reassess TACC'S
- Allowance for illegal take and commercial method mortality should be removed from the TACC, not the TAC
- Deeming in excess of the TACC should be removed from the following years TACC
- Rewrite the 'Approved Statement of Procedure for the Resolution of Disputes' - June 1998
- Development of an agreed upon process for determining a fair and flexible allowance for non-commercial fishing interests
- Acceptance that the non-commercial catch and quality of fishing has been suppressed due to commercial fishing
- Acknowledgment the fish down phase to MSY (and more often than not, significantly below Bmsy) causes a major reallocation from non-commercial to commercial
- We also require acknowledgment that when fisheries are allowed to be fished down below Bmsy, that this is the moment in time when fisheries become insufficiently abundant to allow for non-commercial interests
- Removal of the MLS from commercial bulk fishing methods of trawl, purse, Danish seine and set nets
- The need for detailed case studies of popular shared fisheries clearly explaining the implications and likely outcomes for the various stakeholders of policy options being promoted”
As of the beginning of July the only response has been an acknowledgement from his private secretary that “the Minister is considering your letter and will respond in the near future”. This was dated 22nd May.
Minister of Fisheries
What follows are some interesting quotes from Jim Anderton’s speech to the Fish Operations conference held in Nelson. The Minister addressed his staff on June 20th.
“Our aim should be to at least double the value we receive from commercial fisheries over the next ten years. I am convinced we can do this without having to increase the number of wild fish we take. “New Zealand has a good story to tell on our environmental management.
New Zealand's fisheries management system is acknowledged internationally as one of the few successful quota management systems. We need to build on our progress.
“But we are only going to maximise our effectiveness if we take the industry with us. I am fully aware there are hotheads around on all sides who would take a confrontational approach to fisheries management and exploitation of the resource. This puts MFish in the middle as the 'honest broker'
“MFish has much more than a regulatory role in protecting the fishery resource. It also has an economic development role. Its job is to help maximise the value of the resource as well as to protect it.
“Central government needs to be a partner to everyone with a stake in the industry. Partnership means we must focus on our shared interest and our top priorities and work together with good will to realise our goals.
“This means the Ministry needs to be responsive and 'user-friendly'. It also means we need to take a whole-of-government approach to working with other agencies of central government.
“It also depends on our professionalism, and integrity in making decisions. Some of the decisions require a choice between competing interests. I don't mind making unpopular decisions when they are called for. I think I have reputation for strength and determination when it comes to doing the right thing.”
Akaroa Marine Reserve
Promoting kaitiakitanga (guardianship) through local management is preferable to no-take forever marine reserves that do not address overfishing or water quality issues. The Akaroa reserve debate is an example of this Christchurch community's wishes being overridden by the ideologies of the Department of Conservation. Details and the option4 submission are online at http://option4.co.nz/Marine_Protection/akaroa.htm
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