Minister's Press Release on result of Soundings and Cabinet decisions
Improved data to inform marine recreational fishing decisions
Hon Pete Hodgson
Minister of Fisheries
The Ministry of Fisheries will improve the information it collects
on recreational fishing catch over the next year, to provide a better
basis for government decisions on on the future management of marine
Fisheries Minister Pete Hodgson said it was clear that any changes
to marine recreational fisheries management would have to be based
on better information about the recreational catch than that now
"I have asked the Ministry to develop a strategy for collecting
the information necessary to inform decisions about sustainable
management and the protection of recreational fishing rights,"
Mr Hodgson said. "Everyone involved in the consultation process
on recreational fisheries to date agrees that we need to know more
about the nature and extent of the recreational catch if we are
to make sound decisions. "
The nature and extent of the catch from charter vessels and the
frequency, consistency and accuracy of the Ministry's four-yearly
recreational surveys are two particular areas where a need for better
information has been identified.
Mr Hodgson has been in discussions with a ministerial consultative
group of recreational sector representatives following the "Soundings"
public consultation process on recreational fishing last year. He
will continue consultation with recreational fishing groups through
2002 and reform proposals for wide public consultation will be considered
by Government early in 2003.
"The Soundings consultation process showed that New Zealanders
are passionate about recreational fishing but there is no consensus
yet on the best way to protect recreational rights in the future.
My subsequent discussions with representatives of the recreational
sector have confirmed that lack of consensus and it is clear to
me that this process cannot be rushed," said Mr Hodgson.
The Cabinet has agreed, however, on a broad framework for reform.
The objectives are:
- providing recreational fishers access to a reasonable share
of inshore fishery resources, equitably distributed between fishers;
- improving, where practical, the quality of recreational fishing;
- increasing public awareness and knowledge of the marine environment
and the need for conservation of fishery resources;
- improving management of recreational fisheries;
- reducing conflict within and among fishery user groups;
- maintaining current tourist fisheries and encouraging the development
of new operations where appropriate;
- preventing depletion of resources where communities depend on
the sea as a source of food; and
- providing more opportunities for recreational fishers to participate
in the management of fisheries.
The final policy package must also avoid undermining the purpose
and principles of the Fisheries Act 1996 and the Fisheries Deed
of Settlement with Maori, recognise commercial, customary, and environmental
rights, and be consistent with the Oceans Policy process and the
Graeme Speden, press secretary, 04 471 9707 / 021 270 9055