Home - option4.co.nz The more people we can get involved in these issues the better

Advanced Search

Promote option4

Please help option4



Boatshow Brochure 2001

Boatshow Brochure


May 2001 

option4 - The choice of over 70,000 people and more than 70 organisations.

History shows that when the cuts come it is YOUR fish which are taken to meet the demands of the commercial fishing industry. option4 want this to stop. Our objective is to secure a priority right for recreational and sustenance fishers ahead of the commercial sector.

option4 came together as a response to the "Soundings" document, released last year. Soundings sought to promote 3 options to improve the lot of the public fisher. None of these options adequately addressed the real issues as option4 saw them. option4 organised an extensive program to raise public awareness of the issues at stake. Thanks to your efforts 61,117 individual submissions, fully supporting the principles of option4, were made to the public consultation process. This response by the public was a powerful message, helping the Minister of Fisheries to decide to drop licensing as an option.

Lets look at how seriously they took our submissions

What we Asked for
What we Got
No licensing 100 % Success
A priority right over commercial fishing Not Recommended Specifically
A planning right that ensures fish conserved by the public are kept for the public and not given to the commercial sector Not Recommended Specifically
An area right capable of excluding commercial methods from recreationally important areas Not Recommended Specifically
So, "One down three to Go"

What are we so worked up about?
option4 believes that the real agenda is to integrate the public's fishing rights with the "property rights" based Quota Management System, making us a minor shareholder in a Commercial Fishing Industry dominated system.

  • It will mean an explicit share of our fisheries will be allocated to the public and we will have to constrain ourselves within that overall limit. The shape of this allocation is likely to be a finite overall tonnage.
  • As the population and/or our enthusiasm for fishing grows, so our individual catches will have to be continually reduced to remain within our overall tonnage limit. Eventually our bag limits will be reduced to levels so low it simply won't be worth going fishing.
  • If we want to eat fish we will have to buy it, finding ourselves paying export prices to buy back the fish that could be given away in the process we are involved in right now.
  • The fishing industry will always want more - the reason is simple - the worldwide demand for our precious inshore fish stocks is insatiable. The drive for profit exceeds the drive for conservation and rebuilding of stocks.

Don't think that this has anything to do with the sustainability of the fishery. It is more to do with maintaining commercial catches at their current level. If we think back to 1986 and the implementation of the Quota Management System (QMS), the Individual Transferable Quota (ITQ) that was given to the fishing industry was the surplus fish not required by the public at that time i.e. the Minister first allowed for all non commercial users including recreational, sustenance and traditional maori and the balance of the sustainable yield was set as the permissible commercial harvest level for that year .

This interpretation of the balance between commercial and recreational interests was formalised by Colin Moyle, the Labour Party Minister of Fisheries, with the release of the "National Policy for Marine Recreational Fishing" in 1989. This policy clearly states

"Government is clear, where a species of fish is not sufficiently abundant to support both commercial and non-commercial fishing, preference will be given to non-commercial fishing. This position reflects governments resolve to ensure all New Zealanders enjoy and benefit from our fisheries."

The Labour Party that is now in power is trying to renege on this clear and unambiguous policy, which has become known as Moyle's promise. They certainly do NOT accept that a promise was made to YOU.

* Spread the word - far and wide.
* Register online
* If not online - Subscribe to the mail Quarterly Update

Due to overwhelming demand from clubs, individuals and organisations not online, we have decided to make available a quarterly subscription offer to the option4 Newsletter. The cost of this subscription is $20 and may be applied for by writing with your details, cheque enclosed, to -
PO Box 37951


site designed by axys © 2003 option4. All rights reserved.