Is After Our Fish Again!
by the option4 team
This article was
originally published in the New Zealand Fishing News March 2007
Procrastination and pointing the finger
of blame have become commonplace in fisheries management. Long-term
solutions exist to fix the problems in shared fisheries where commercial,
recreational and customary fishers have an interest.
All we need from the Government
and the Ministry of Fisheries (MFish) is a willingness to fix the
problems including overfishing leading to depletion.
A lack of commitment has
brought about an environmental issue of significance for all New
Zealanders, not just those of us who fish for food or fun.
Undoubtedly we need to address
the problems in fisheries such as snapper, gurnard, flounder, blue
cod and kahawai. However, the Government's latest attempt to decide
how fisheries should be managed fails to address the real issues.
Instead, the MFish 'Shared
Fisheries' paper infers that amateur fishermen are the problem and
the only way to fix it is to take away our common law right to fish!
Worse still, this is happening
without the majority of people even being aware that their fishing
future is under threat. This is not good enough.
The teams involved in developing a
response to the paper - "The
People's Submission" - have been working tirelessly to
develop achievable, affordable and robust solutions to rebuild our
Representatives from option4,
the New Zealand Big Game Fishing Council, Ngapuhi, Ngati Whatua
and many other individuals agree that the 1996 Fisheries Act has
not been applied as it was intended and that existing mechanisms
should be used to restore our fisheries.
overwhelming answer is: just get on with giving effect to the Fisheries
Act and don't tell us to give up our right to fish. It is not for
to find out what you can do to stop the Government stealing
your fishing future.
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