the option4 team
This article was
originally published in the New Zealand Fishing News April 2007
The People's Submission,
in response to the 'Shared Fisheries' proposals, has been completed
and sent to the Ministry of Fisheries. Now the real work begins.
It is imperative that you
read The People's
Submission and give it your support. The submission offers affordable
and practical solutions to manage fisheries such as snapper, gurnard,
flounder, blue cod and kahawai more sustainably. This is to ensure
future generations have enough fish to meet their needs and that
current fishing opportunities improve to enable people to provide
for their social, economic and cultural well-being.
Following four months of
intense discussion by a number of people from throughout the country
we submitted that:
- The 1996 Fisheries Act already contains the fisheries management
tools and mechanisms to rebuild and manage our inshore fisheries;
- Proportional allocation is not the solution for rebuilding our
- Claims from recreational fishers for less pressure on our fisheries
will ease if the proposals in the submission are implemented and
fish stocks increase to provide abundance;
- Cooperative strategies that bring together recreational, traditional,
commercial, government and other interests will provide maximum
benefits from fisheries.
There is general agreement
amongst all sectors that the 'Shared Fisheries' consultation process
was woefully inadequate. At a recent meeting with commercial, customary
and recreational fishing interest groups it was obvious that there
was value in getting around the table and discussing the issues
without MFish obstructing the process. While we don't expect to
agree on everything, the opening dialogue was positive.
We have all been badly short-changed
by this so called “four-month” public consultation. These tactics
of consulting with the public over Christmas are unacceptable. The
officials know full well that we cannot function as a team through
this period. Submissions on matters of such significance are never
one person's position. In the case of "The People's Submission"
we saw a very good team develop a Preliminary View for public feedback
– this was completed and distributed in mid December. The
next opportunity for this team, by now considerably expended, to
reconvene was early January. A six week sprint saw "The People's
Submission" completed on the deadline. A deadline that was
unforgiving and rigid.
option4 has major concerns
that you have been denied ample opportunity to consider the proposals,
what the implications are and how they might affect you. Did you
realise that the “priority” they were offering you was a sham?
Why would anyone want a “priority”
20% stake, or a one-bag limit, in a fishery that was near-collapse?
Let's get real; the people
of this island nation deserve abundant fisheries and healthy marine
Can You Do?
It's so important that you
tell your family, colleagues and mates about The People's Submission
and how they can support it and stop this Government taking away
another part of our heritage.
The easiest way to support
those who have stood up to protect your fishing future is to go
online and read The People's Submission.
Fill out the simple form
to endorse the submission and let the Government know how you feel
about their shoddy process that seeks to minimise your rights just
to avoid facing up to their own failures.
Do not for one moment think
that because MFish have frittered away your time and set unfair
deadlines that that is the end of having your say. In fact, this
is only the beginning!
Your feedback is welcome. We look forward to your questions and will
endeavour to be available to attend meetings or hui to offer more
insight. Please contact option4 spokesperson Scott Macindoe on 0274
506065. Trish Rea is enjoying a very well earned break this March
– her contribution to the coordination and compilation of "The
People's Submission" has been pivotal.
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