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Bill Ross replies to Peter Ellery - 15 September 2000


Mr Ellery is obviously a consummate political animal. He articulates his points well and goes into considerable detail but fails to answer the fundamental question; as do most politicians.

"What is the legislative right of recreational anglers in New Zealand?" Answer: "They haven't got any clearly defined rights of access to the fishery".

Until this is gained Mr Ellery's rhetoric will disappear into the ether. When he's unable to freely access the inshore fishery to catch a snapper or whatever because there aren't any left then I wonder if he'll be quite as vocal about the Option4 group then, I think not.

I guess the beauty of a democracy is that everyone is entitled to their opinion but isn't it great that we can also suggest they take their particular opinion elsewhere? If you're not for the Option4 Group mr Ellery might I suggest you go elsewhere for an argument because "Pap" such as yours is what has caused the present problem. Don't even begin to tell me what the RFC or NZBGFC has done for the recreational angler. My catch limit has been reduced substantially since 1989 and it will be further eroded if govt and Ministry had their way. if you can't see that then you definitely are a politician and no fisherman in my eyes.

To say that orange roughy isn't an issue for us because we don't catch them is pathetic. The problem in that fishery is the same problem in the snapper fishery Mr Ellery. It's been raped and pillaged and plundered for profit. Industry have demonstrated no ability to manage this fishery. Ministry have similarly contributed to its demise. Your attitude smacks of "if it doesn't harm me directly then I'm all right mate!" hardly a considered or even intelligent perspective methinks. If you are remotely concerned about the future of recreational fishing see Soundings for what it really is; Political propaganda which doesn't even begin to come close to addressing the primary issue. Refer to the "answer" above.

If soundings was meant to be a balanced discussion document then perhaps Mr Ellery could explain why it's so one eyed in the propositions it makes? Notice that every Option avoids any question of Government or Ministry having to compensate industry etc. Is that a coincidence or intended. You don't have to have to be a genius to work it out do you? Notice how most of the emphasis is on everything other than giving recreational anglers statutory rights of access etc.

Recreational fishers can't even begin to get involved with TACC and TAC etc. We don't have the money to finance independent research to challenge industry or Ministry's statistics. Why the hell should we fund $4,000,000 or for that matter $1 when we pay taxes to government already to look after our rights. I didn't vote in a government to screw me Mr Ellery. Regardless of whether it is National or labour. You obviously have access to a considerable amount of information Mr Ellery and you are well versed in the issue but I don't know who's side you are on.

Perhaps a bit of disclosure would be appropriate in order that we can make a balanced decision on what your agenda really is.

I look forward to your considered reply.

Bill Ross,
Recreational Angler.

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