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Letter to Minister regards Fiordland recreational management proposals.


Hon Pete Hodgson
MP for Dunedin North
Minister of Fisheries
Minister of Energy
Minister of Forestry
Minister for Small Business
Associate Minister for Economic Development
Associate Minister for Industry & Regional Development
Minister of Research, Science &Technology
Minister for Crown Research Institutes
Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Minister Responsible for Timberlands West Coast Ltd

Parliament Buildings

Dear Minister,

We wish to express our grave concern about the direction and intention of the Guardians of Fiordland Fisheries (GOFF) as stated at their meeting on 09/10/2001 at the Invercargill Workingman's Club, and other meetings.

The management proposals outlined at the October 9 meeting and the other meetings, which were recorded by one of the undersigned, are both grossly unfair and incapable of delivering the desired outcomes. We also believe these proposals amount to a violation of rights of the New Zealand public to gather seafood for themselves and their families in this isolated region.

Central to our concern is that many of the proposed fishing restrictions are targeted at one fishing group - recreational/sustenance fishers. Examples of the proposed controls are attached.

We note published Ministry reports state New Zealand recreational fishing public takes less than 3 percent of the crayfish from this region. Figures are not available for finfish take, we can though comfortably extrapolate know figures and find similar results.

It is our position that should any curtailment of fishing activity is found necessary (this would require proper scientific analysis to demonstrate this need before any one sector is interfered with) then it must be targeted to constrain the cause of the depletion. In this case it is more than obvious what is required if the stocks cannot sustain current catch levels. Ninety seven percent of the catch taken by the commercial fishing industry, the focus simply has to lie on the fishing industry. Any other approach would be both illogical and contrary to natural justice believe the membership of GOFF does not represent a cross section of the users and other interested parties and is not qualified to speak or act on behalf of recreational/sustenance fishers using the Fiordland resource. We believe the membership is unduly biased with commercial fishery interests, Ministry of Fisheries staff, DoC, and other Govt agencies, both local and central.

The undersigned, having spent many years in the Fiordland area on both land and sea carrying out voluntary service, such as Wapiti herd reduction, track formation, mountaineering, along with recreational, commercial fishing and research, feel well placed to comment on the validity of any group whom presently claim to have the interests of Fiordland or the New Zealand public as their bench-mark. is surprised to be informed that, you, your office along with your department are 'hungry for any impute and/or recommendations, from GOFF, which will be acted upon', by Laurel Teirney GOFF facilitator. Laurel went even further claiming that 'GOFF has a mandate from both former, and you the present minister to implement change in Fiordland'. The above comments were made in a public forum with Government and members of the public in attendance. These comments have also been quoted in two dive club as well as the Southern Sportfishing Club Newsletters

Given the current debate about the nature and extent of the recreational right,
believes it is inappropriate to be considering further restriction to the recreational fishing right such as those proposed by GOFF. It is our understanding that the previous Minister had on the advice of the Ministry decided that no further changes should be introduced until the marine recreational right issue had been addressed. We also understood that you had agreed to continue this policy. Could you please advise what is your policy on this issue, and if our understanding is correct why initiates such as the GOFF proposals are being progressed at this stage? recognises that the amateur fishing controls are a critical component of the recreational/sustenance right. We would suggest as part of the recreational/sustenance right deliberations that a joint Ministry and recreational/sustenance fishers group should review all the current controls and develop a framework and guidelines for future recreational fisheries management proposals such as those proposed by GOFF. We would suggest that this review is a matter of urgency and that all recreational fishery control proposals should be shelved until the review is completed and an agreed framework developed. request a meeting with you to discuss the issues raised in this letter to more fully outline our proposals for the long overdue recreational/sustenance fishing controls review. This will go a long way to build the trust you so often refer to that is an essential component for us all to move forward.

Yours sincerely, for,

Bill Cooke .....................................David Craze 111

GOFF Proposed Reductions to Recreational Bag Limits.

Blue Cod

  1. Milford and Doubtful Sounds.
    · Catch & release - no cod pots - or
    · Temporary closure, 2 years with a renewal for a further 2 years. No Finfish catch
    · Exemption for Deep Cove to allow the Hostel to catch fish.
  2. Inside other Fiords
    · Daily Bag of 3
    · No accumulation
    · No cod pots
  3. Fiord entrance/outer Coast
    · Daily bag 20, including 3 from inside the sounds
    · No accumulation


  1. Milford & Doubtful Sounds. Inside the sounds
    · 3 per day, no accumulation
    · Dahn lines to have only 5 hooks
    · To be included in daily bag
  2. Fiord Entrance/outer Coast.
    · Daily bag 5, to include 3 from inner Fiords
    · No accumulation
    · Dahn lines to have only 5 hooks
    · Grouper to be included in the daily bag


  1. Milford & Doubtful Sounds and Inside other Fiords
    · Daily bag 2
    · No accumulation
  2. Outer Fiords and Entrances
    · Daily bag 6
    · Accumulation of 15
    · Legal requirement to bag and tag each days catch
    · Pot limit of 3 per vessel.