2000 - 2001
An affiliation of concerned New Zealand citizens and fishing people
created a task force called option4 in response to the document
2000. The discussion document was the work of the Rights Working
Group (RWG) consisting of Ministry of Fisheries staff and members
of the NZ Recreational Fishing Council (NZRFC). The RWG asked for
submissions on the future management and rights of recreational
Soundings included three options for the public to consider in regards
to our future fishing rights. They were:
1. Discretionary share (status quo, the current system)
2. Proportional share (a fixed share of the available fishery)
3. Recreational management (proportional share and management control).
option4 believes that the RWG, in the Soundings document, adopted
a set of preconceived and indefensible assumptions about the relationship
New Zealanders have with the seas surrounding their lands, whilst
at the same time having omitted reference to many important issues
surrounding the pre-existing rights of New Zealanders to fish and
harvest these seas.
option4 were determined to ensure all possible options for the future
management of recreational fishing were considered on their merits
and debated as widely as possible.
To carry the four principles of option4 all the way through the
rights redefinition process and to have those principles enshrined
- A priority right over commercial fishers for free access to
a reasonable daily bag limit to be written into legislation.
- The ability to exclude commercial methods that deplete recreationally
- The ability to devise plans to ensure future generations enjoy
the same or better quality of rights while preventing fish conserved
for recreational use being given to the commercial sector.
- No licensing of recreational fishers.
option4 compiled a submission
, sought input and support through widespread debate, the option4
website, articles and interviews in the media. Considerable awareness
was created among the fishing public generating extensive discussion
on talkback radio.
option4 achieved a staggering level of consensus on public harvesting
rights in the marine environment. Of the 62,117 submissions made
during the Soundings process 61,178 (98.5%) supported the
objective and four principles of option4 contained in the
submission. This was an unprecedented response to a fisheries management
Summary of Soundings Process
For full details on the Soundings process please go here for more
information » »
option4 has continued the effort to redefine the right of the public
to harvest food from the sea. The task force maintains the objective
and 4 principles and works in conjunction with many other representative
organisations to secure the rights of non-commercial fishers in
the marine environment.
In addition to the option4 website regular Updates
are provided online and in the media to keep people informed of
progress. If you would like to be kept up to date with events and
our progress please register here.
If you would like to contact the option4 team please email us at