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Norwest recreational forum minutes Oct 2005

Recreational Fishing Forum Meeting Summary

North Island North-West Coast

18 October 2005




Local Fishing Area


Ministry Update


Other Business
Ministry Annual Processes  


Location: Ministry of Fisheries, 608 Rosebank Road, Avondale
Date: 18 October 2005

Stakeholders: John Forrest, Stuart Hogg, Sheryl Hart, Stuart Cameron, Allan Jones

Ministry of Fisheries:Jodi Mantle, Matt Cowan, Richard Fanselow, Todd Sylvester, Tony Brett

Apologies: Allan Moore
Meeting started at 6:15pm



Members introduced themselves.
RF Members were asked to consider if other people might be available to attend the meetings, especially people from Kawhia and Kaipara Harbours.
2. Objectives
RF Discussed Ministry’s key objectives: good relationships, effective consultation, participation, identification of local issues.
Hart Wants to learn more about Ministry processes / science, and management tools available for recreational fishers. It is not fair that the recreational fishers do not have the knowledge.
JF Wants to see the Ministry website improved.
JM The website should be significantly improved in 2006.
JF Wants to better understand the research science used for stock assessment and management decisions.
JF Concerned about the composition of the meeting – Asians, Maori, Polynesian representatives are missing.
Hart Wants to see a Dargaville representative attend the North-West Forum.
JF Fishing clubs only account for 10% of the fishing fraternity, so it is a problem to communicate with non-club recreational fishers.
JM Improved communication will become a major issue for all the recreational Forums.
AJ The public should be become more actively involved in enforcement.
SH How is the Fishcare Programme operating?
MC The Honorary Fishery Officer network and Fishcare programmes are currently under-review – the Ministry should be able to provide more information for the meetings in 2006.
Hart Some of the North-West Forum meetings should be held at venues out of Auckland.
JF Wants longer timeframes for consultation and better notification in the newspapers.
Hogg What is the Ministry’s position on marine reserves?
JM The Ministry’s Head Office provides the lead role for marine reserves and provides the concurrence advice to the Minister of Fisheries.
Hart Attended a west coast MPA meeting in Hokitika.
JM Read out the update on the MPA strategy [copies provided in the Handout folder at the start of the meeting].

Recreational fishers need to contact DoC and ask to be involved in the Regional Conservation Boards.

Wants more information on the environmental effects on fishing [eg. trawling], and the effects of the environment on fishing [eg. weather affecting spawning and recruitment success].

RF Talked through the presentation slides [copies provided in the Handout folder at the start of the meeting] on Role of Forum members, etc.
JF Most rod and line fishers buy bait, therefore consultation could be through retail outlets selling bait.
Hogg Club membership is actually declining.
Members agreed that they would not be the "mouthpiece" for the Ministry back to the recreational sector. It was the Ministry's job to improve its consultation directly with the recreational sector. At Forum meetings, members agreed that they would do their best to provide a viewpoint that they considered would be typical of the recreational sector, as opposed to providing only their personnal veiwpoint.
3. Expenses
JM Outlined the expenses and costs slides [copies provided in the Handout folder at the start of the meeting].
Meeting timings: Members generally preferred a 4pm midweek start; weekends were not popular for meetings.
4. Ministry Annual Processes

Discussed the four main processes as portrayed by the spreadsheet and the notes provided in the Handout folder at the start of the meeting.

  • Stock assessment
  • Sustainability review
  • Research planning
  • Working group meetings
5. Local Fishing Areas
Members described the areas they fished [there was a reasonable representation for northwest coast fishing, except for Kawhia and Kaipara Harbours].
Hogg It use to be that surfcasters would expect to catch a trevally on most fishing trips, but now trevally are seldom caught. Snapper were only occasionally caught in the past, and are still relatively rare for sufcasters.

All members said that TRE7 was now a problem, with very few trevally now being caught for all types of fishing methods, and inside and outside harbours.

Members commented that they occasionally caught rig on hooks – possibly crabs on the seafloor were eating the bait, with the crabs then being eaten by rig.

Members noted that kahawai fishing was still reasonably good at the Marokopa river mouth [south of Kawhia], but that kahawai catch rates in other areas were generally not as good as in the past.

Concern was also expressed about the lack of blue sharks, and that it was now rare to see birds actively working and feeding on fish.

There was also a lack of flounder in most areas.

6. Ministry Update
TS Discussed the handout providing an update on recent Ministry initiatives eg. sustainability round, research process.


JF 15-20 year rebuild timeframe that the Minister has decided upon is totally unacceptable. The TACC should have been cut much more than just 200 tonnes down from 1500 to 1300 tonnes because the pair trawlers “raped” the fishery in the 1970s.
SC The reason the rebuild should be faster is that with the SNA8 fishery way below BMSY many people will not go fishing because snapper catch rates will be bad and the fish will be small in size.  People expect better catch rates and bigger-sized snapper than they can currently catch. By the time SNA8 has been rebuilt to BMSY, two generations of New Zealanders will not have had the benefits of fishing this fishery at BMSY.
JM It is likely that there will be another stock assessment for SNA8 in five years time.
Hart There must not be any further bag limit reductions below the 10-bag limit. It is apparent that there is localised depletion of snapper by trawlers that only nowadays fish within a days trawling distance of the Port of Onehunga. Raglan has not been so badly affected as the Auckland area because about three years ago the three trawlers were sold [now fishing other areas] that use to be based only at Raglan.
JF As an indication of how bad the snapper fishing is on the west coast for surfcasters, there would be around 40,000 hours of surfcasting from Mokau to the Kaipara Heads for SNA8 / year to catch a very small number of snapper. This is based on the number of sales of specialised surfcasting sinkers. [The Ministry notes that JF provided an email the next day indicating that this rough calculation was a substantial underestimate. JF will work to provide a more accurate estimate over the next few weeks].
Hogg The average bag by a surfcaster would be less than one fish / fisher.


TS Noted that the law had been changed for kingfish so that commercial fishers (except set netting) could now legally release legal sized kingfish that were likely to survive. [For most quota species, it is illegal for commercial fishers to dump or release legal sized fish. The Ministry considered that most of the members appeared to support this change.]
7. Other Business

The Ministry noted that at subsequent Forum meeting there should be presentations and discussions on improving communication, the Ministry’s compliance strategy and structure, and an outline of the different types of management tools that are available to Maori customary fishing.



AJ Requested the Ministry to provide maps at the next meeting showing the quota management areas for key recreational species eg. kahawai, snapper, trevally, crayfish, gurnard. Tables showing the TAC, TACC etc and recent catches should also be provided.
SC Asked the Ministry to explain why fish spawning does not appear to be used for sustainability – why is there not a closed season during the fish spawning period?
Hart Wanted a glossary of terms and Ministry acronyms provided.
JF Wanted to know more about the environmental effects of fishing, and in particular, who was consulted about this?
JF Was concerned about the level of trawling off Muriwai Beach in September. Wanted to know if snapper was being targeted, and was much of this fish deemed? [This data request will have to wait until the New Year because it takes about 3 months for the commercial catch reporting data to be entered and checked before it can be used with some certainty].
Meeting concluded at 9:10pm


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