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Shared Fisheries Letter

Shared Fisheries Letter to the Minister of Fisheries

by the option4 team

8 May 2007


Minister of Fisheries

Hon. J. Anderton

Parliament Buildings


Printable version available here....

Dear Minister,

Shared Fisheries Management

Dear Mr. Anderton,

option4 representatives would like to meet with you, as our Minister, to discuss the future management of shared fisheries on behalf of all New Zealanders and our recent submission in support of the Fisheries Amendment Bill to allow you to take a more precautionary approach when making decisions.

We aim to assist you to achieve healthy fisheries and a marine environment to provide abundance for the people, together with guardianship of the right and ability of all to catch fish for the table. We have a wide range of relevant skills to draw on including fisheries scientists, fisheries managers, commercial fishers, business people and professionals including accountants and legal advisers. The majority of our considerable effort has occurred over the past six and a half years.

The recent Kahawai Legal Challenge judgement has reinforced our argument for existing law to be adhered to: specifically, mandatory consideration of recreational and customary take to enable people to provide for their social, cultural and economic wellbeing.   Justice Harrison also noted the danger of complete reliance on Ministry advice. To this end, we wish to reassure you that we can provide broader, fresh input for positive change through achievable and affordable means.

There is an opportunity now to leave a legacy for current and future generations by ensuring that abundance provides real meaning to the common law right to fish for food. We appreciate the ‘balancing act' required of Ministers faced with differing lobby groups, and seek to assist you to deliver positive outcomes for shared fisheries.

Having worked in a completely open and transparent manner with all representative groups including the Ministry of Fisheries, tangata whenua and other recreational groups, we now request a dialogue with yourself in order to present our fresh input to assist achieving the environmental, social, cultural and economic benefits of more fish in the water / kai maha nga ika I roto te wai.

We can meet at a time and place that suits you, and look forward to your positive response.


Yours sincerely

Paul Barnes

option4 project team leader


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