- How Much Quota?
Dear [ subscriber ]
Meeting with the Minister.
At the end of November six people received invitations in the mail
to meet with the Minister of Fisheries on Monday 16 th December
in his offices at 7.00pm. The Minister has chosen one person from
NZRFC, NZBGFC, option4, MTA, Tasman Fishers and one other. The Minister
wants to meet again with sector leaders to get candid and frank
feedback on both the future of the "reforms" and the process
to be followed from here on if the reform of the recreational fishing
right is to proceed. Still nothing heard from the Ministry regards
process as outlined for the year. option4 will report on the meeting
with the Minister next month.
Kingfish into the QMS -1/10/03
The Minister has decided to introduce Kingfish (amongst other species)
into the QMS as of 1/10/03. His decision letter (which may be read
in full at http://www.option4.co.nz/Fisheries_Mgmt/kingfish.htm
offers some reasoning as to why the Minister believes that the "QMS
should be fully exploited before considering any alternative management
system for bycatch stocks." He "remains committed to introducing
more stocks into the QMS " and he "advocates management
arrangements that make the best use of the QMS, such as fisheries
plans led by participant-initiated arrangements" His decision
letter covers similar reasoning, stock boundaries and fishing year
time frames for each of the 5 species to be introduced (Kina (North
Island), Kingfish, Leatherjacket, Rough and Smooth Skates, Short
and long finned eel (Chatham Islands)
The Minister assures us in his decision letter that commercial catches
of kingfish will not exceed their allocation as "the catch-balancing
regime provided for in the QMS has a variety of mechanisms to ensure
that commercial catch is managed to the level of ACE available for
the fishery". He "will be open to considering these mechanisms
during the next stage in the QMS introduction process when I determine
the Total Allowable Catch and allowance (for each sector) for each
Smaller FMA's (Fisheries Management Areas) are not being considered.
Again, he prefers "agreements between sectors" to address
local depletion effects.
So here we have it. One of our most precious and treasured inshore
fisheries about to have a Total Allowable Catch set and initial
allocations made for each sector. The Minister has a huge responsibility
to the public to get this right. If he were to use the rational
for his recent decisions in Snapper 2 (SNA 2) when he determines
kingfish allocations, heaven help us. The New Zealand Recreational
Fishing Council, The New Zealand Big Game Fishing Council and option4
have all made strong submissions on the kingfish situation - you
may read these in full at http://www.option4.co.nz/Fisheries_Mgmt/qmsdocs.htm
The Minister has a very good opportunity to show "good faith"
with the fishing public when he makes his kingfish decisions. He
certainly has a lot of confidence in the QMS commercial catch limiting
mechanisms and the ability of commercial and recreational to achieve
effective agreements to nurture this all-important recreational
New Harvest Estimates for the Public
The full reports of both the Survey and the Review are online and
well worth a read.
Harvest Review 2000
As reported in Fishing News last month, they confirm what has long
been suspected - previous estimates of recreational catches have
been dramatic under-estimates and thus all fisheries management
decisions that have used older harvest estimates must be questioned.
We expect some urgency by the Ministry in addressing there past
mistakes and incorporating the true figures into their stock assessment
models. At this stage they do not seem to be moving very quickly
- certainly their recommendation to the Minister to allow for 40
tonnes of Snapper 2 for public catch seems to fly in the face of
estimates that our catch could be as high as 700 tonnes. The question
that must be answered is, when will this Ministry take the new information
on board in its fisheries management deliberations? Be assured that
this question will be raised when the Minister's meeting occurs
option4 Support online
The last month has seen over 300 people either Register
their Support or Introduce a Friend.
This is very encouraging and clearly demonstrates the increasing
awareness of the public and concern for their fishing future. Please
make every effort to share your knowledge of fisheries management
developments with your friends over Christmas. The fisheries management
"landscape" is quickly changing- it seems that change
is occurring on all fronts simultaneously and in some respects is
overwhelming for the fishing public. Until the rights of the public
are clearly defined, we at option4 believe that the risks associated
with most other changes are unacceptably high. The only way to win
against the growing threats to our fishing access is to speak with
one voice so if you have not done so already, go online and register
yourself to receive the Updates and take advantage of the opportunities
to have your voice heard.
Thankyou for your support and encouragement in 2002.
Regards from the team at option4
(NZ Fishing News #23