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Consensus Letter

Consensus Letter to the Minister of Fisheries

Shared Fisheries Policy Process

option4, NZBGFC, NZRFC and Ngapuhi

19 May 2006



The Minister of Fisheries

Jim Anderton



Dear Minister,

Last Friday, 12th May 2006, representatives of NZRFC, NZBGFC, option4 and Ngapuhi met to discuss The Shared Fisheries Project and in particular review the Update # 1 dated 3 May 2006.

Our understanding is this project was instigated to resolve outstanding issues surrounding the placement of recreational fishing within the allocation and management of New Zealand's fisheries resources. It is in essence a continuation of the work started several years ago to "clarify and better define the recreational right".

Although we accept the resolution of the many outstanding issues will have some implications for other stakeholders, we are surprised, to say the least, at the list of key issues, comments and suggestions, contained in the update. The list appears to have been somewhat "sanitised" from that we would have expected to see.

We realise that the second set of bullet points (listed below) are expected to provide the parameters of the project and that our issues raised at earlier meetings may still be included in the final discussion paper. The list of themes given is:

  • Setting the TAC to manage above Bmsy
  • Allocation of the TAC
  • Managing sector allocations
  • Finer scale spatial management
  • Improved information
  • Recreational fisheries management capacity.

Just so there can be no misunderstanding in the future we want it recorded the following issues (amongst others) have also been raised and need to be included in the project.

  • Manage key fish stocks at or above or significantly above Bmsy
  • Recognise historical over allocations of key fish stocks to commercial interests and the need to reassess TACC'S
  • Allowance for illegal take and commercial method mortality should be removed from the TACC, not the TAC
  • Deeming in excess of the TACC should be removed from the following years TACC
  • Rewrite the 'Approved Statement of Procedure for the Resolution of Disputes' - June 1998
  • Development of an agreed upon process for determining a fair and flexible allowance for non-commercial fishing interests
  • Acceptance that the non-commercial catch and quality of fishing has been suppressed due to commercial fishing
  • Acknowledgment the fish down phase to MSY (and more often than not, significantly below Bmsy) causes a major reallocation from non-commercial to commercial
  • We also require acknowledgment that when fisheries are allowed to be fished down below Bmsy, that this is the moment in time when fisheries become insufficiently abundant to allow for non-commercial interests
  • Removal of the MLS from commercial bulk fishing methods of trawl, purse, Danish seine and set nets
  • The need for detailed case studies of popular shared fisheries clearly explaining the implications and likely outcomes for the various stakeholders of policy options being promoted

We raise these issues as we see resolution to many of them being fundamental to achieving parity for the recreational sector. Unless the framework is completed to enable delivery of the intent of "The Moyle Promise" then we see little or no progress being made and any attempt to alter the present wording of section 21 of the fisheries Act will be met with fierce opposition.

We are sure that you want to achieve a just outcome for all in these longstanding issues but remind you that a good outcome for the public of New Zealand will not be achieved by any fixed proportional share.


We remain

Yours faithfully

Keith Ingram

President NZRFC

Jeff Romeril

President NZBGFC

Paul Barnes

Project team leader option4

Sonny Tau

Chairman Te Runanga A Iwi O Ngapuhi, Hokianga Accord


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