- How Much Quota?
Dear [ supporter ]
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/qmsdocs.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 stock.
Smaller FMA's (Fisheries Management Areas) are not being considered. Again,
he prefers "agreements between sectors" to address local depletion
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 fish stock.
New Harvest Estimates for the Public
The full reports of both the Survey and the Review are online and well
worth a read.
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 in December.
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 Jan