Four Month Time Extension Request
The Honourable Pete Hodgson
Minister of Fisheries
Request for a four month extension for submissions to the Soundings
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.
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
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.
option4 Project Leader