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Extension Request Oct 2000


Four Month Time Extension Request

option4

21 October 2000



Paul Barnes

21/10/00

The Honourable Pete Hodgson
Minister of Fisheries
Parliament Building
Wellington


Dear Minister
Request for a four month extension for submissions to the Soundings document.

The option4 task force has concerns that the November 30 close off date for submissions to the Rights Working Group regarding the redefining of public rights to fish and gather seafood may be inadequate.

Our request for an extension is based on several issues we have discovered during the public consultation to date.  

These are:       

Large numbers of the fishing and general public are as yet totally unaware of the process.

  • There is serious confusion over the issues among the public
    e.g. Many still believe that foreign vessels are taking all of our snapper or we can simply ban all commercial fishing out to 12 miles offshore.
  • There is serious confusion over terminology and principles
    e.g. Many think their bag limit is their quota or share or proportion in the fishery and do not understand the implications of what is being proposed or the necessity of being able to constrain the overall catch within sustainable limits.


In addition to the above, many nationally affiliated clubs and associations are awaiting input and advice from their national executive to assist them in determining their clubs position.  Likewise the national executive have requested information or presentations on which they can formulate their position.  Many such clubs are only just now becoming aware of the Soundings consultation. This process, to be effective and inclusive, will take more time than what has been allowed.   

While the option4 group will be able to deliver a submission on time the debate occurring at the moment suggests that the quality and durability of the proposals in our submission will improve as it evolves through informed debate and transparent peer review.  

The option4.co.nz website is rapidly becoming an effective debating forum for these national clubs and associations as well as interested members of the public. Improvements have also been made to the site to educate the public on fisheries management principles and terminology as well as a frequently asked question and answer forum. The Soundings document is linked to the option4 website.  

option4 believes an extension until  March 30, 2001 will ensure sufficient time for the public to respond.


Yours sincerely

Paul Barnes
option4 Project Leader  
   

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