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NZ Tourism and Soundings

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 Industries
 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:

  1. Recreational Priority right over commercial fishers, for free access to a reasonable daily bag limit
  2. The ability to exclude commercial methods that deplete recreationally important areas
  3. 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
  4. 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 inshore fisheries.

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