Press Statement on Release of RWG Paper
Marine recreational fishing report released
Minister of Fisheries Pete Hodgson today released a report and summary
of submissions from the "Soundings" public consultation
process on the future management of marine recreational fishing.
The report, from the Ministry of Fisheries-NZ Recreational Fishing
Council joint working group that ran the consultation process, outlines
the key issues raised in public comments on the "Soundings"
discussion document released last July.
"The consultation process has shown widespread support for
change to the adminstration of marine recreational fishing, but
diverse and conflicting views on what that change should be,"
Mr Hodgson said.
"As expected, licensing for marine recreational fishing has
been roundly rejected by the fishing public. Licensing is contrary
to Labour's election policy and I have no hesitation in ruling it
out as an option for the future management of marine recreational
Mr Hodgson said he was pleased with the recommendations of the joint
working group, which asked him to support further policy development
* better define the public share of and access to fisheries;
* improve the management of recreational fishing;
* rule out licensing;
* improve education and information on fisheries management;
* improve measurement of the recreational catch;
* seek more input and participation of iwi in future policy development.
"The wide range of responses to "Soundings" tells
me that defining and protecting recreational fishing rights is not
going to be achieved with rapid, sweeping change," Mr Hodgson
said. "Equally, the call for progress is very strong.
"From here, therefore, I intend to seek a way forward in stages.
The first priority must be to improve the capacity of the recreational
sector to participate in policy development and fisheries management.
The public demand for that came through loud and clear.
"Other useful first steps will include finding ways to improve
information on the recreational fishing catch and effort, opening
new lines of communication with and between recreational fishers
and Maori, and improving the procedures for resolving disputes between
recreational fishers and other interests.
"I am exploring with recreational groups the possibility of
setting up a ministerial advisory group to work towards those goals
as a minimum.
"I am optimistic that an open and inclusive policy process
will allow us to progressively secure recreational fishing rights
into the future. Those rights are threatened by population, environmental
and competitive pressures. We need to respond before those pressures
erode the right to fish enjoyed by thousands of New Zealanders."
The joint working group report and summary of submissions are available
at www.fish.govt.nz A full set of submissions is available for public
scrutiny at the Auckland, Wellington, Nelson and Dunedin offices
of the Ministry of Fisheries.