What Does the Soundings Process Mean For New Zealand Tourism?
Attention: the Tourism Industry of New Zealand
The Ministry of Fisheries recently invited public submissions as
to the legal standing of recreational fishing rights in New Zealand.
In the 'Soundings' document prepared by the “Rights Working
Group” made up of the New Zealand Recreational Fishing Council
and the Ministry of Fisheries, three options have been proposed
for rights definition and the management of recreational fishing
in New Zealand. Any of these three options will likely result in
restrictions that will negatively impact a substantial part of the
tourist trade dependent on inshore ocean fishing.
Revenues generated, and local communities supported by recreational/tourist
fishing far outweigh the benefits accruing to the New Zealand economy
through commercial fishing of these inshore shared fisheries.
Not enough research has been undertaken to accurately determine
the comparative benefits relating to commercial and recreational
fisheries, however, it seems fairly self-evident that the local
economy derives far greater financial and ecological benefits from
recreational fishing than it does from commercial fishing.
The combined harvest of Maori Traditional fisheries and recreational
fisheries is 2% of the TAC (Total Allowable Catch). Commercial fisheries
take the remaining 98% of the total harvest.
The Real Value of New Zealand's Inshore and Game Fishing
Just how many places are there in the world like the Hauraki
Gulf where, in any season, tourists can be as close as a 30 minutes
boat ride from Auckland City to the best game fishing in the world
- the great Kingfish, the Kahawai, and the formidable snapper? Not
to mention the multitudes of other places up and down New Zealand's
beautiful coastline where inshore fisheries provides plentiful opportunities
for recreational sport fishing and ocean adventures!
Numbers of business enterprises throughout the country exist by
catering to the needs of local and international tourists who live
for their fishing and love nothing better than being able to catch
tasty game fish and enjoy the pleasure of the cooking and eating
of it soon thereafter.
What is the Risk?
If any of the three options put forward by the Rights Working Group
are adopted as law there exists potential downsides risks to recreational
fishing and those many tourist businesses that depend on it.
One way to ensure the protection of recreational tourist fisheries
is for the New Zealand Government to adopt the option4 principles
in any proposed legislation
The option4 principles are as follows:
- Recreational Priority right over commercial fishers, for free
access to a reasonable daily bag limit
- The ability to exclude commercial methods that deplete recreationally
- The ability to devise plans to ensure future generations enjoy
the same or better quality of rights while preventing fish conserved
for such purposes being given to the commercial sector
- No licensing of recreational fishers
option4 invites the Tourist
Industry to help in securing the most advantageous outcome for the
fishing-based tourist industry and for the future generations of
New Zealanders to come.
We invite you to click here to register your submission online to
support option4 principles for the future management of New Zealand's