Challenge Ministers Decisions on Kahawai
Campaign Media Release
The decisions made by the
Minister of Fisheries, David Benson-Pope in August on the setting
of Total Allowable Catch and Total Allowable Commercial Catch for
kahawai have outraged organisations who advocate the interests of
the hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who fish recreationally.
"An unprecedented number
of public submissions made during the consultation process failed
to shift the Ministry of Fisheries attitude as to how this species,
the second most important non commercial fishery, is to be managed"
says Don Glass, the Campaign Manager for the Kahawai Legal Challenge.
"The Minister's decisions
followed the advice he received form the Ministry of Fisheries and
fail to halt the over fishing of this species. In fact, the corporates
who used purse seiners and spotter planes to target entire schools
of kahawai to establish catch history receive the lion's share of
the commercial quota being issued. Not only did those corporates
demolish the fishery in the late '80s and early '90s, they are also
guilty of "selling" those fish to very low value export markets
in their cynical grab for catch history" he says.
The Minister has granted
more quota to the industry than they have been able catch of recent
years. To add insult to injury the public are expected to reduce
their already diminished catch by 15%, or 600 tonnes. This equates
to the equivalent of at least 1.2 million meals of kahawai being
taken off the plates of New Zealanders to subsidise the ongoing
commercial demolition of this species.
"Enough is enough" say New
Zealand Big Game Fishing Council, the New Zealand Recreational Fishing
Council, and option4. "Whilst we work with little or no resourcing
to protect the public interest in inshore shared fisheries, we feel
we have no choice but to commit to a legal challenge. We are preparing
to lodge a Judicial Review to see the High Court make a declaratory
judgment and hopefully set aside these decisions" says Don Glass.
"To resource this legal challenge
a public awareness campaign is to be launched to generate the necessary
financial support to prosecute this case."
0900 KAHAWAI enables people
to invest $20 in support this very important legal challenge. Comprehensive
information that fully explains the need to go to Court can be found
on the website www.kahawai.co.nz