challenge to fishing quota to cost $500,000
This article was originally
published in the NZ Herald
20 September 2005
A legal challenge to the allocation of kahawai quota is a test case
that is likely to cost recreational fishing groups $500,000.
For the first time, recreational fishers are taking Fisheries Minister
David Benson-Pope to the High Court to challenge what they say is
serious mismanagement of the kahawai allocation.
The case, which is a joint-initiative by the New Zealand Recreational
Fishing Council and the New Zealand Big Game Fishing Council, has
been lodged in the High Court at Auckland and is set to be heard
in May next year.
The fishers argue that the Quota Management System is doing nothing
to prevent commercial fishers depleting stocks.
Recreational Fishing Council vice-president Geoff Rowling said the
$500,000 the case was likely to cost was being raised entirely through
"We believe that the amount allocated by the Minister of Fisheries
to us is too low and the total allowable catch for commercial fisheries
is set too high. The balance is all wrong," Mr Rowling said.
He said the case was "more about principles than about kahawai".
He added: "It should have happened 20 years ago, when the quota
system was introduced.
"The result will have implications for all species caught by
recreational fishers, not just kahawai, although kahawai is a very