Invariably these systems evolve from a simple idea into complex and costly regimes driven by the bureaucracy that administers them.
A simple licence regime was introduced in West Australia several years ago. Now, recreational fishing from boats requires approval from two separate government departments. There are initial costs and annual fees running into hundreds of dollars. Annual boat registration fees apply and every skipper has to pay for, and pass, an exam and several medical tests.
Licence fees from the fisheries department vary depending on the individual’s age, fishing method and target species. The annual boat-fishing fee is $30. Fishing with a net is an additional $40, targeting rock lobster and abalone (paua) costs $40 each.
A common complaint in Australia and other statutory regimes is that the fees required to maintain the sprawling bureaucracy is out of proportion to the benefits for fishers.
For Kiwis these multiple costs are a major concern and would be widely unpopular on top of the already-hefty family tax bill.
Claims that a statutory right is on a par with your common law right to fish in the sea are misleading. There are clear differences in their origin and how they are administered.
option4 continues to work with a variety of organisations who are committed to both protecting our existing fishing rights and ensuring sustainable fisheries management, to provide for our children’s needs and well-being.