Prospects for Fisheries Management
the option4 team
This article was originally
published in the New Zealand Fishing News March 2008 edition.
fisherman knows, if the fish are not there you aren’t
going to catch them. Conversely, if there is an abundance
of fish plenty will be caught.
How then have
we, on an island in the South Pacific, ended up scrapping
over the remnants of fisheries managed under a ‘world-leading’
quota management system?
What about the
future fishing prospects for our children and their children?
Fisheries, the government’s proposals for future
fisheries management, was released in November 2006.
much has been written about the proposals and process that
often it has been a case of ‘never let the facts stand
in the way of a good story’.
news is on the horizon
Fishing representatives from both amateur and industry have
now agreed to jointly develop a framework to achieve outcomes
acceptable to non-commercial and commercial fishing interests.
customary fishing interests need to be involved in these discussions
if meaningful solutions to fisheries abundance levels and
local area management are to be found.
Atkins with a dinner-size Whangaroa snapper.
option4, the NZ
Big Game Fishing Council and the NZ Recreational Fishing
Council are jointly working with representatives from SeaFIC
and Te Ohu Kaimoana, to reach some agreement by April 30th.
This is the group’s
deadline to report progress to the Minister of Fisheries.
A Working Group
of three people will be convened to carry out analysis,
develop options and prepare a report for the Minister.
The Steering Group
of up to 12 representatives will be providing strategic
guidance to the Working Group.
This group will
include four representatives from the amateur groups.
Both the Working and Steering groups
are realistic about how much can be achieved by April 30th,
however it is progress.
Group meetings are now underway.
It is important
to find the areas of agreement and those issues that require
scallops from Whangaroa Harbour.
to the Kahawai Challenge
Given the considerable
investment that amateur fishers have made to the Kahawai
Legal Challenge, the High Court ‘win’ and
subsequent defence of the industry’s challenge in
the Appeal Court, all parties are clear that these discussions
are being held on a ‘without prejudice’ basis.
That is, that nothing in these discussions can be used in
these or any subsequent [legal] proceedings on this matter,
unless mutually agreed by all the parties in the proceedings.
Terms of Reference are being developed to ensure all parties
to these joint discussions are clear about the scope of
work to be undertaken.
United Amateur Voice
of these discussions is the development of a protocol of
engagement for amateur fishing representatives from option4,
the NZBGFC and NZRFC.
If agreed, this
document has the potential to empower the collective effort
and allay concerns of how each organisation can operate
effectively with the other groups, to achieve a high level
This agreement initially applies to the Shared Fisheries
process but could conceivably be used to guide engagement
in future discussions. We will keep you posted on progress
of this protocol.
Enjoy your fishing; it has certainly been a summer to remember.
|If you value the work option4
is doing please use the secure online facility available
here and invest in your fishing future.
to Updates Index page here >> >>