A ready solution is to address the unrealistically large quota-management areas. For example, Snapper 8 extends from north of Titahi Bay in Wellington, past Cape Reinga and across to North Cape.
Regional differences in catch rates and the size of fish were highlighted during the 2005 sustainability round. Taranaki-based fishermen, commercial and amateur, were adamant that the commercial catch limit should be maintained (or increased) and that the amateur daily bag limit should be dropped in the north from 15 to 10.
This may seem a reasonable proposition when each fish averages between two and three kilograms, as they do in southern regions. By contrast, snapper from the inner Manukau Harbour are barely 500 grams. So, after a day’s fishing a southern fisherman can take home between 20 and 30 kilos of fish, while his Manukau counterpart is lucky to have five kilos.
Purchasing fish is the other option but retail prices of our most popular species mean that many people are excluded from what was once a traditional dish. Not surprisingly, a recent survey found that 59 percent of New Zealanders would eat more fish and seafood if they were cheaper to buy.
There is increasing evidence of the health benefits of eating fish. There are also social and cultural advantages in families having access to abundant fisheries so they can feed themselves.
option4 is committed to working with the NZ Big Game Fishing Council and the Hokianga Accord to achieve more realistic management of our fisheries so that all New Zealanders can provide for their well-being through fishing.