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Rebuttal of Cabinet Paper 2002


option4 Rebuttal of Cabinet Paper

11 March 2002



Covering Letter


option4
PO Box 37951
Parnell

11/3/02


Dear Minister
From our very first meeting you have emphasized the need to build trust between all the parties involved in the fisheries rights debate. The Cabinet Paper FIN (01) 216 is a betrayal of that trust. It contains half-truths, has omitted critical parts of the debate and continues to promote the proportional share agenda of the Ministry of Fisheries.

We have analysed the Cabinet paper FIN (01) 216 Recreational Fisheries Reform. We fail to see any genuine recognition of the views of 98.5% of submissions to " Soundings." Our response is attached for your information. It is not acceptable for the Ministry to ignore, misrepresent and downplay the public's right to gather food from the sea. Unless there is a genuine attempt to incorporate the views of he public in any future consultation process, we can only assume the Ministry's agenda is government policy. We understood from you and the Ministry that future discussion would be based on Moyle's Promise. This is obviously not so.

You have shown a willingness to engage with option4 and the public of New Zealand over their rights to fish. We need to get the rights issue debate and resolution back on track. You have previously stated to us that you would be prepared to come to Auckland and meet with us if there was a need to do so. We believe that the need for such a meeting is urgent and therefore seek an informal meeting with you before the 25th of March to have a free and frank dialogue.


We remain,
Yours faithfully,

Paul Barnes
option4 Project Leader


Response

Note: option4 comments in blue


Office of the Minister for Fisheries
The Chair
Cabinet Finance Infrastructure and Environment Committee

RECREATIONAL FISHERIES REFORM

Executive Summary

  1. This paper comprises a report on the outcome of the public consultation process, and recommended options for progressing with the reform to improve the management of recreational fishers.
  2. I recommend a further period of consultation with a view to developing a specific proposal for reform, and have instructed the Ministry of Fisheries to provide me with a strategy for further consultation. In the interim I have instructed the Ministry to develop proposals to improve the information collected on the nature of the recreational harvest.


We agree that better information on recreational harvest is necessary, however, we do not agree with the Ministry's proposed means of achieving it. The Ministry proposes to improve the accuracy of the information on recreational catch by implementing more regular surveys and using charter boats to provide catch information. Running the surveys will not increase the accuracy of the estimates - it will create the same level of accuracy more often! What is needed is a revised sampling regime which will improve the sampling stratification and therefore the accuracy of the estimate. The use of charter vessels is of dubious value. Previous Ministry surveys using the charter fleet have indicated the fleet works in only a limited range of geographical areas (compared with the recreational sector as a whole) and that less than 10% of fishers use charter vessels. A standardised CPUE project with volunteers using a variety of recreational methods may give a much more reliable result, charter boats who offer to participate could be included.

  1. I propose reporting back to the Committee with a recommended option for public consultation no later than 1 February 2003 and subsequently to report back on the outcome of public consultation no later than 1 June 2003.


option4 has real concerns regards the ability of the Ministry to conduct meaningful public consultation throughout New Zealand in the proposed timeframe.


Background

  1. While all New Zealanders have the right to go recreational fishing, there are signs that their ability to catch fish is being eroded. The quality of recreational fishing includes access to fishing areas as well as catch rates and size of fish. Catch rates and size of fish are being affected by:
  • Increasing numbers of people going recreational fishing in popular areas, many of which are also popular commercial and customary fishing areas
  • Environmental deterioration, such as habitat destruction from land-based pollution and
    environmentally damaging fishing methods
  • Lack of clear guidance on what share of the available catch should go to recreational fishers versus commercial, and poor information to support that decision.
  • A low propensity on the part of recreational fishers to act collectively to protect their rights and promote their interests.
  • Illegal fishing


It seems the Ministry can't bring itself to say that the quality of recreational fishing has been affected by commercial fishing. In fact the very reason we have the QMS is because commercial fishers had severely depleted the most valuable inshore fish stocks with pair trawlers and purse seiners in the 1970s and early 1980s. The conservation measures of the QMS were undermined by the Quota Appeal Authority and when the Minister cut SNA1 quotas because the biomass had reached 11% of the virgin stock he was challenged in court by the fishing industry for redistributing rights to recreational fishers. The impact of commercial fishing on New Zealand fish stocks and the quality of recreational fishing has been totally omitted from the bullet points above. Reading this summary the impression is given that the greatest threat to the quality of recreational fishing IS recreational fishers and environmental factors.

This advice to Cabinet fails to adequately communicate the level of scepticism the public has about the effectiveness of the Quota Management System and fisheries management in general in New Zealand. Whilst the public are bombarded at every opportunity by Ministry and Industry awarding praise and accolades on the Quota Management System, the public are regularly on the loosing end of the stick with countless examples of failure of the system to adequately constrain effort or rebuild stocks appropriately. The Minister is advised that the public have not enjoyed fishing as good as what it is now since the 1970's - tell that to those who fish for snapper in the Marlborough Sounds, flounder and mullet in the Kaipara, gurnard in the Hauraki Gulf, those who aspire to catching a Broadbill or tuna, the crayfish divers in CRA2, the Paua fishermen of Marlborough etc


Areas that recreational fishers can access are being affected by:

  • Marina developments, marine reserves, marine farming, and restrictions on
    access to wharves and private land
  1. These issues signal a need for:
  • A clearer definition of the relationship between recreational fishing, and customary Maori and commercial fishing rights.
  • Improved area-based management of recreational fishing
  • Consideration of ways to ensure recreational fishers can protect their own interests and rights
  1. From a broader fisheries management perspective, all three harvest groups (customary Maori, recreational and commercial) are missing out on potential benefits. Because the Minister of Fisheries has some discretion in setting the commercial and recreational shares, both sectors lobby the Minister to protect and enhance their share. This can cause tension and divert attention and resources from working together to improve fisheries management outcomes. For example, fishing could be improved by supporting initiatives to rebuild stocks through improved husbandry, less damaging techniques and restraint.


The use of the term share (recreational share) is used seven times in the Cabinet paper; the term is misleading. The situation in law is that the Minister shall allow for Maori customary non-commercial fishing interests and recreational interests. The Minister must make a deliberate allocation for the recreational sector - not provide them a share which may simply vary with the total allowable catch. The distinction is important since the Ministry believes the recreational catch should be defined as a proportional share of the total catch so as to minimize the impact on the commercial fishery. option4.co.nz has continually stated their opposition to the proportional share approach recommended by the Ministry.

Since the SNA1 court case, commercial fishers have wanted to cap recreational take. A cap on recreational take is fundamental to the Ministries proposals on Proportional Share that was the basis of the Soundings Process. While it may be the nature of politics that the Ministry doesn't say what it means, to us in the public it is perceived as plain dishonest to leave out all reference to the proposed cap. If a key issue in this debate is a cap on recreational take it needs to be clearly stated in this document and not hidden from Cabinet. If it is not the intent of the "recreational share" to be a cap, then state that instead.

  1. There is also a continued need to improve information on recreational take in fisheries where recreational take is significant in order to
  • Guide and support sustainability decisions
  • Inform allocative decisions
  • Enable the development of co-operative management regimes


Previous Cabinet Decisions

  1. The objectives for this review of the management of recreational fishing are to [FIN (00) M 20/3 refers]:
  • More clearly specify the relationship between recreational and commercial fishing rights, and recreational and customary fishing rights


option4 was formed with the express intent of ensuring that the public was involved in determining these relationships, as the outcome of this process will define the publics right to harvest. There was little or no effort made to address the relationship between recreational and customary fishing rights. Maori do a lot of fishing. Much of the fish caught by Maori are caught whilst fishing under the Amateur Fishing Regulations. Maori make up a significant part of what is known as "the recreational sector". There is much work to be done to determine clearly the relationship between recreational fishing rights and customary fishing rights.

  • Ensure spatial allocation issues affecting recreational fishing can be addressed
  • Encourage recreational fishers to take greater responsibility for managing recreational fishing
  1. On November 2 1998, Cabinet [CAB (98) M 41/7-11 refers], inter alia:
    e) Agreed that the proposals of [...] reform of the management regime [...] of recreational fisheries be the subject of a public consultation by way of a standard Ministerial or departmental consultation document.
  2. On July 31 2000, Cabinet [FIN (00) M 20/3 refers], inter alia:
    a) Agreed that the Minister of Fisheries report back to the Committee on the outcome of the consultation process, further analysis and recommended options for change by 31 March 2001.
  3. The report back date was subsequently extended to 31 December 2001 [FIN Memo (01)1 8/5 refers].


The Joint Working Group on Recreational Fishing Rights

  1. Over the past decade recreational fishers became increasingly concerned about some aspects of marine recreational fisheries management, with much of their frustration focusing on access their local fisheries.
  2. Recreational fishers made their concerns known to the previous government. The Minister of Fisheries came to the conclusion that more clearly specifying the harvesting and management rights and responsibilities of recreational fishers could resolve many problems. The government was already following this course of action for customary and commercial fishers. It is also a course comparable countries have followed, including many Australian states.
  3. At the New Zealand Recreational Fishing Council (NZRFC) annual conference in July 1998, the Minister challenged the NZRFC to work collaboratively with Government to test the public's views about better defining recreational fishing rights and management responsibilities.
  4. The NZRFC responded positively and accepted this challenge. A joint NZRFC/Ministry of Fisheries working group (JWG) was formed to develop options to identify and secure New Zealand recreational fishing rights and responsibilities.
  5. Regular meetings of the JWG were held in late 1998 and early 1999 to develop background papers for discussion with NZRFC members. Six papers on recreational fishing rights were discussed during workshop sessions at the 1999 NZRFC annual conference in Auckland. Following the workshop sessions the JWG continued to meet to develop a draft public discussion document based on the feedback received. In December 1999 the JWG met with SeaFIC, Te Ohu Kai Moana, ECO and Royal Forest & Bird to seek their views on the draft document.
  6. The JWG prepared a revised draft public discussion document, based on the feedback received from the workshops and the meetings with the other sector groups. As part of the process of obtaining Cabinet approval to release the discussion document, the draft was circulated to government departments for comment in May and again in June 2000.

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Public Consultation

  1. I released the discussion document-Soundings the NZRFC annual conference in Nelson on 21 July 2000. The consultation strategy included wide distribution of the discussion document and public meetings and Hui. About 14,000 copies of Soundings were distributed over the public consultation period. Thirty-five public meetings were held throughout the country. In addition a number of clubs organised meetings of their own and invited speakers from the JWG and option4 Group*. (Please read response comment at bottom of page) In response to growing public interest, the deadline for submissions was extended from 30 November to 20 December.


Section 18 is a classic example of how the Ministry spin doctors play down the importance of the consultation process and as well misrepresenting the purposes of the formation of option4.
In short, 18 is a deliberate distortion of the truth.
FACT: The Ministry completely failed to consult properly with the public - on two occasions notification of the meeting appeared in print as the meetings were occurring. (South Auckland, West Auckland) It will be a straightforward exercise demonstrating the inadequacy of this consultation process.
The truth is that option4 were so concerned by the white wash of this process that they themselves organised several other Auckland meetings. Various members of option4 went from Dargaville to Gisborne to ensure that the public's rights were not swept over, as has happened three times previously. Firstly, the formation of the Quota Management System, then the Pearce Report, then the Wheeler Report."

  1. A total of 62,117 submissions were received. The overwhelming majority of all submissions received were from recreational fishers (99%). A significant feature of responses is the form letter distributed by the option4 Group, which affected a total of 61,178 submissions. In addition to this, 950 other submissions were received (610 Soundings submission forms and 329 letters from individuals and organisations). An independent contractor prepared a summary of the submissions.


Amongst the 329 letters are many Submissions from organisations and clubs with hundreds and sometimes many thousands of members endorsing the principles of option4. These include, for example, the New Zealand Big Game Fishing Council and Yachting New Zealand. It is also relevant to comment here that at the AGM of the New Zealand Recreational Fishing Council in 2001 all 4 principles of option4 were adopted.

  1. In early August, the JWG sent a letter to iwi inviting tangata whenua to comment on issues and options raised in Soundings and seeking their views as to how they wanted to be consulted. By mid February 13 hui had been held. In the South Island hui were held with representatives from Te Tau Ihu and Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu. In the North Island 11 Hui were held, and a number of other tangata whenua groups were contacted but they sought no Hui
  2. The Joint Working Group presented me with a summary of submissions and a report outlining the process undertaken and the Group's interpretation of the submissions. Their findings are outlined below.


* option4 are a group of recreational fishers who formed in response to the Soundings public discussion process, specifically to oppose licensing and promote other options within the package.

* option4 was not formed "specifically" to oppose licensing! Licensing of the peoples right to harvest food for sustenance was never and never will be a runner. This was simply a red herring, which eventually backfired on the Ministry with a public outcry.
Options 1,2,3 in the Soundings document are really variations of the same ill- conceived intent to lock the public of NZ into an explicit share (proportionalism) and effectively make the public minor shareholders in their own fishery within the Quota Management System.
To suggest that option4 was formed to "promote other options within the package" is not true either.
option4 has a clearly set out package of principals based around the very reasonable requirement for the public to have a priority right in their own fishery to harvest, as promised by the last Labour Government and its Minister of Fisheries, Colin Moyle. The "The Moyle Promise"...."preference will be given to non-commercial fishing …..where a species is not sufficiently abundant to support both non-commercial and commercial fishing. ""

* Furthermore, the footnote implies that those who support option4 do so primarily because they oppose licensing - nothing could be further from the truth. At the Auckland Boat Show in 2001, 3 months after the Minister had announced licensing was not an option, more than 3,000 people (over eight percent of those attending the show) signed letters to the Minister of Fisheries stating that although the licensing issue is dead the recreational right issue urgently needs to be addressed. A similar level of support was subsequently recorded at the Hamilton and Tauranga Boat Shows.


Findings of the Joint Working Group

  1. The key lessons and conclusions that the JWG presented to me are as follows:
  • There is widespread support for change. The public wants to improve the quality of recreational fishing and recognise a need for better specification of rights, in particular rights to participate in the management of recreational fishing. Views about the way forward were diverse, and in some cases contradictory. While the nature and extent of the necessary change is still unclear, it is evident that the status quo is unsustainable.
  • Recreational fishers do not support licensing.
  • A lot more work is needed to engage iwi in the debate about better specification of recreational fishing rights. This has not proved an easy task and, as a consequence, the JWG still does not have a full appreciation of iwi views.
  • The commercial sector acknowledges the public right to go recreational fishing. Some of the customary sector acknowledges this right but others consider it a privilege. Both sectors do not want the process of better specification of rights to be done in a manner that adversely affects their current rights.
  • People are passionate about recreational fishing. The majority just want to go fishing, and do not wish to participate in the complexities of fisheries management. One could say the same about both the commercial and customary sectors.
  • There is, in general, a poor understanding about how we manage fisheries in New Zealand. There is also a poor understanding, and acceptance, of the nature of customary fishing rights.


The statement 'Views about the way forward were diverse, and in some case contradictory.' is misleading. The Ministry has promoted this view to explain their poor performance in promoting a future management policy for recreational fishing during the 'Soundings' round of consultations. The fact is that more than 98.5% of the more than 60,000 submissions on Soundings supported the four principles of option4.co.nz. Subsequently the other two major recreational fishing organizations (NZRFC and NZBGFC) approved the four principles as their position. Yet the Ministry refuses to acknowledge that New Zealand recreational fishers whole-heartedly support an option which was not proposed by the Ministry.

This paragraph's comment on a diverse and contradictory recreational viewpoint is in contrast with paragraph 27 of the Cabinet paper where the Minister acknowledged that there is widespread support by recreational fishers to the Marine Recreational Fishing Policy released by Minister of Fisheries Colin Moyle.

  1. The recommendations of the JWG were as follows:
  • Support the further development of policy to:
  • Better define the public share of and access to fisheries, and,
  • Improve the management of recreational fishing (note, there is widespread support for statutorily mandated national and regional representative bodies, which are government funded).
  • Agree that further policy development does not include any form of licensing of marine recreational fishers.
  • Note that any future public policy debate on the recreational share, access and management would benefit from a broad scale education and information programme on NZ fisheries management.
  • Support exploring ways to improve the measurement of the recreational harvest.
  • Support the need to improve the input and participation of Iwi in the further development of the recreational rights policy


There is widespread recreational fisher support for a better defined allocation and access to the fishery. However there is no evidence for 'widespread support' for mandated representative bodies. Given that the Ministry did not keep minutes of the public meetings on 'Soundings', and that 98.5% of the submissions supported the Option4.co.nz principles which do not canvass the issue of representation, we challenge the Ministry to substantiate their comment. We believe it is a serious breach of Public Service practice that Cabinet has been provided with advice which has no basis in fact.

The Ministerial Consultative Group

  1. As a consequence of these broad findings I sought to continue the process of consultation with the recreational sector by establishing a Ministerial Consultative Group (MCG). This Group was composed of representatives from the NZRFC, Option4 and other major recreational groups who submitted to the Soundings process. This group acted as my sounding board for policy proposals as officials developed them.


Although the MCG comprised of representatives from NZRFC, Option4 and other major recreational groups, the paragraph is misleading in suggesting that the Minister's group represented the mandate from those groups. Although option4.co.nz and others sought to develop a joint terms of reference for the MCG, the Ministry decided that they would unilaterally determine the terms. One of their terms was that the Chatham House Rule applies. In other words the MCG members were not to represent their organization's interest but were to act as individuals. It is therefore incorrect to imply the group had the mandate and could speak for its member organizations.

  1. The MCG met five times in total and received a large amount of information from the Ministry of Fisheries. This included a detailed policy package developed by the Ministry of Fisheries drawing on the contents of the Soundings document and the findings of the JWG.


The paper's comments on the consultation misses the point that although detailed submissions were provided by the MCG members on the Ministry's papers and repeated requests for discussion on the issue, the Ministry has refused to discuss the content of the MCG members submissions or seek to accommodate their views.

  1. The MCG concluded that the process of further defining rights and management responsibilities would require more time to reach consensus. This would allow the recreational sector to achieve a greater level of understanding of the problems they currently face and to allow a full assessment of the risks involved in any proposed changes.


Paragraph 26 makes a significant error in not commenting on the major conclusion of the MCG process - that the recreational right needs to be defined, we are at a loss to see how the Ministry could have omitted this point in advising Cabinet.


Objectives of recreational fishing management

  1. The Hon. Colin Moyle, Minster of Fisheries, released the National Policy Statement on Marine Recreational Fisheries Management in 1989 and this included the objectives of recreational fisheries management. The Ministerial Consultative Group and I agreed these objectives provide a sound basis for continuing discussions on identifying an agreed reform proposal. There was also recognition of the need for more comprehensive information on the nature of recreational harvest.
  2. Objectives of marine recreational fishing management can be derived from the policy statement on marine recreational fishing made in 1989 by the then Minister of Fisheries, the Hon Colin Moyle. Since that time major changes have occurred to the fisheries management environment including the Fisheries Act 1996, the Deed of Settlement Act and the shift in focus from centralised planning to locally based planning through new mechanisms such as Fisheries Plans which entail a much greater role for stakeholders. It is useful to restate the aim and objectives of the policy statement in light of the new constraints imposed, and opportunities presented, by the new environment.
  3. The aim of fisheries management is: "To enable the fishery resources of New Zealand to be utilised in a manner that maximizes the benefits to the social, economic and cultural well being of New Zealanders while ensuring sustainability."
  4. "The National Objectives for marine recreational fishing are:
  • Access to a reasonable share of inshore fishery resources equitably distributed between recreational fishers
  • Improve, where practical, the quality of recreational fishing·
  • To increase public awareness and knowledge of the marine environment and the need for conservation of fishery resources
  • Improve management of recreational fisheries
  • To reduce conflict within and among fishery user groups
  • To maintain current tourist fisheries and encourage the development of new operations where appropriate
  • To prevent depletion of resources in areas where local communities are dependent on the sea as a source of food
  • Provide more opportunities for recreational fishers to participate in the management of fisheries"
  • Preference will be given to non-commercial fishing in areas readily accessible to and popular with the public, where a species is not sufficiently abundant to support both non-commercial and commercial fishing.


This is the fundamental principle which was omitted from the Cabinet Paper. This principle is an essential part of the agreement between the parties involved in the MCG. Without this principle option4 could not commit to continuing to participate in the consultation process. This principle supports option4's submission of a priority right for the recreational fisher.

  1. The National Objectives provide the framework for recreational management. However, the method of implementation needs to be developed within the current environment

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The next phase of reform

  1. The consultation process undertaken thus far concludes the first phase of reform. The process considered a wide range of possible policy options. These options included licensing and devolution of management responsibilities. Some of these options, particularly any form of licensing, are now confirmed as inappropriate in the New Zealand environment at this time
  2. New groups representing the recreational sector have emerged as a direct result of the consultation process. This has improved the extent of representation available to the sector. The good relationship that has been developed with the JWG through the Soundings consultation process does not however exist with these new groups to the same extent
  3. It is now possible to build on the progress made and develop a specific proposal for reform within this new environment. This second phase of reform will require a focus on building a consensus around a specific proposal. There is a need to continue to work closely with the recreational sector and build on the improving relationship with the Government.
  4. The development of a reform proposal will require further work, recognising both the national objectives and the constraints imposed by the wider fisheries management environment. It is proposed that after a period of further consultation I report back to the Committee with a specific proposal in the form of a consultation document no later than 1 February 2003. Public consultation will then be sought and the results of that process will be reported to this Committee no later than 1 June 2003.


The reality is that 98.5% of submissions to the Soundings process supported the principles of option4. It would seem appropriate that this new reform proposal is based on these very principles. This could eliminate the need for extending the next consultation round due to the limited time frame allocated for this process.

  1. The development of a final policy package for reform will be constrained by a requirement to:
  • Avoid the under-mining of the fisheries Deed of Settlement Recognise the legitimate rights of other fisheries stakeholders including the commercial and customary sectors
  • Operate within the fiscal constraints imposed by the Crown and the rules surrounding expenditure of public funds
  • Recognise the explicit consideration given to sustainability of fishstocks and the Environmental principles of the Fisheries Act 1996
  • Be consistent with any outcomes of the Oceans Policy process and with the biodiversity strategy
  1. This public consultation will carry a fiscal cost which would be met within existing baselines. Initial estimates of these costs are $125,000.


Information on recreational harvest

  1. The achievement of the above goals and the future management of recreational fisheries will rely to a large extent on the quality of information available on the nature and extent of recreational harvest. This will be true irrespective of the final outcome of the current review of recreational fisheries management. All participants in the consultation process recognised this and they also recognised that there are some gaps in the information currently collected.


The final outcome of the current review process will have a huge impact on the future management of recreational fisheries. Compliance by recreational fishers is more likely to be achieved if they agree with the measures being taken to improve the fishery and sustain it for future generations.

  1. Therefore there is a clear need in the short term to address the issue of information regarding the recreational harvest. I have instructed the Ministry of Fisheries to address these issues within the current Fisheries Act 1996 framework.
  2. The Ministry will develop an information strategy that addresses the information demands of sustainability, the integrity of the harvest rights of stakeholders and other management requirements. This strategy will incorporate at least the following two areas where a need for improved information has been identified:
  • The nature and extent of the harvest from charter vessels
  • The frequency, consistency and accuracy of the recreational harvest surveys
  1. These initiatives will carry a fiscal cost that the Ministry will meet within existing baselines. Indicative costs of potential elements of the strategy are:
Doubling the frequency of the four yearly recreational harvest survey ($1,000,000 per survey) $250,000 pa
Requiring reporting from charter boat operators $250,000 pa
Total $500,000 pa



These policy proposals were put to the MCG in July. The feedback requested and delivered was thorough and well founded. There has been no response to that feedback, much of which disagreed with the value and purposes of the above decisions. This process of consultation leaves a lot to be desired as far as MCG participants are concerned. There is little point in working on feedback if it is not only going to be ignored but also goes unacknowledged and debated. To learn of outcomes of consultation process such as MCG in "fait accompli" manner such as this element of the Cabinet Paper and Minute of Cabinet decisions is not acceptable. If readers of this response would like to know what the considered advise of the MCG participants is they will have to ask the Ministry to lift the confidentiality of the MCG process - a process unlikely to get much support from the Recreational Sector in the future. Not the intent of the Minister, we are sure.

Consultation

  1. This paper has been prepared in consultation with the Ministry for the Environment, The Department of Conservation, Te Puni Kokiri and the Treasury.


Financial Implications

  1. The fiscal costs arising from the recommendations in this paper amount to $625,000 in 2002/3 and $500,000 in the out years. These costs will be met from within existing baselines.


Treaty impacts

  1. The recommendations in this paper are consistent with customary fishing rights and the fisheries Deed of Settlement


Publicity

  1. I intend to make an announcement on the progress that has been made with the reforms and the recommended path forward following cabinet decisions.


Regulatory Impact Statement and Business Compliance Cost Statement

  1. There are no regulatory impacts or business compliance costs associated with the recommendations in this paper.


Recommendations

  1. It is recommended that the Committee:
    a) note that the first round of public consultation has been completed and the need for further work has been identified
    b) note all parties to the discussion following the public consultation agree the following objectives of recreational fisheries management provide a basis for continuing the discussions:
  • Access to a reasonable share of inshore fishery resources equitably distributed between recreational fishers
  • Improve, where practical, the quality of recreational fishing
  • To increase public awareness and knowledge of the marine environment and the need for conservation of fishery resources
  • Improve management of recreational fisheries
  • To reduce conflict within and among fishery user groups
  • To maintain current tourist fisheries and encourage the development of
    new operations where appropriate
  • To prevent depletion of resources in areas where local communities are dependent on the sea as a source of food
  • Provide more opportunities for recreational fishers to participate in the management of fisheries

    (c) note that I have requested that the Ministry of Fisheries work closely with the recreational sector to develop a specific proposal for reform to enable implementation of the objectives outlined in (b)) above within the constraints of the current fisheries management environment which are:
  • Avoid the undermining of the fisheries Deed of Settlement
  • Recognise the legitimate rights of other fisheries stakeholders including the
    commercial and customary sectors
  • Operate within the fiscal constraints imposed by the Crown and the rules surrounding expenditure of public funds
  • Recognise the explicit consideration given to sustainability of fishstocks and the environmental principles of the Fisheries Act 1996
  • Be consistent with any outcomes of the Oceans Policy process and with the biodiversity strategy

    d) agree that the Ministry of Fisheries develop and implement an information strategy to improve the nature and extent of information on the recreational harvest

    e) agree that the Minister of Fisheries report back to the Committee on the outcome of further analysis and a recommended option for public consultation no later than 1 February 2003

    f) agree that the Minister of Fisheries report back to the Committee with the outcome of public consultation no later than 1 June 2003


Hon Pete Hodgson
Minister of Fisheries

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