Origins and the Rights Definition Process
An affiliation of concerned New Zealand
citizens and fishing people created a task force called option4
in response to the document Soundings
in 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.
- Discretionary share (status quo, the current system)
- Proportional share (a fixed share of the available fishery)
- 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
To carry the four principles
of option4 all the way through the rights redefinition process and
to have those principles enshrined in legislation.
- 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 proposal.
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 from 2001 onwards. If you would like to be kept informed
of progress please register here.
If you would like to contact
the option4 team please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org