Inlet Marine Reserve Application
||Invercargill Working Men's Club, Invercargill
||Wednesday 24th September 2003
||Rose Grindley, Ministry of Fisheries
||37 people including MFish and DoC staff
Rose Grindley opened the meeting by setting the rules, no questions until the speakers had finished and only constructive questions - no statements. The Ministry of Fisheries was holding this meeting to give information, their part in the consultation process to date had been information only.
A marine reserve proposal for Paterson Inlet, Steward Island , has been approved by the Minister of Conservation, subject to concurrence by the Minister of Fisheries.
To obtain relevant information and views on the marine reserve proposal that will assist the Minister of Fisheries in making his concurrence decisions the Ministry of Fisheries is holding two community meetings to provide an outline of the proposal and the submission process.
Sean Cooper from the Department
of Conservation (DoC) presented the history of this proposal and
describing the composition of the Inlet as a hole.
- The reserve was first mooted in 1986.
- 1991 a committee was set up to look at the implementation of a reserve.
- 1992 DoC held discussions on how this would be carried out.
- 1995 DoC approved this proposal.
- The main concern at this time was the loss of fishing by non-commercial fishermen.
- 1997 DoC sent their proposal to the Minister of Conservation.
- July 2002 Minister of Conservation approved the reserve.
- The Minister of Transport has also given his approval of the reserve
- Awaiting Minister of Fisheries concurrence
The Proposal meets section
3 (1) of the Marine Reserves Act 1971. DoC regards the proposal
meets the following criteria:
- Schools could conduct research.
- Tube worms mounds found in the Inlet.
- Brachiopod communities in the proposed reserve.
A selection of pictures was shown depicting the seabed. Nothing in this was evident to state that pictures shown were of the actual proposed reserve area.
Nothing in any of these slides were unique to Paterson Inlet, Foveaux Strait or Stewart Island .
Ministry of Fisheries
Ray Voller from the Ministry
of Fisheries addressed the meeting. The Minister wants feedback
on the proposal and they will be advising him on whether he should
be providing the concurrence sought by DoC. The Minister will look
at the Ministry report and make an independent decision. The decision
will be based on the assessment of the benefits and/or impacts on
the area and those affected.
- Deadline for submissions is October 28th 2003.
- MFish to provide concurrence advice to the Minister of Fisheries by December 12 th 2003.
- 300 people on the MFish database were sent notification of the Paterson Inlet proposal
- Any questions can be directed to Ray on (03) 4740333
Question: How will
the boundaries of the proposed reserve be marked?
Answer: DoC stated that markers on land would mark it.
Q: DoC stated that
the area contained diverse habitat, what are they trying to protect?
A: The reserve
was to keep the area pristine and in an undisturbed state. Paterson
Inlet is undisturbed and this is why DoC wants the reserve. The
isolation of the area and the relatively cold water will protect
it from over exploitation.
Q: What will DoC
do if the reserve becomes overpopulated with an influx of commercial
charter vessel visitors who impact on the area as has happened in
the marine reserves in Fiordland?
A: DoC said there are sensitive areas and it would be up to commercial operators to control impacts to protect the reserve.
Q: Why was this area
chosen for a reserve with it being next door to commercial fishing,
salmon/mussel farming which is like setting up a swimming area next
to sewage outfall.
A: DoC said the commercial usage did not affect the area the reserve would be in.
Q: Will DoC extend
the boundaries in the future if approval is given now?
A: MFish state there are no guarantees this would not be done at some time in the future. If there were to be a change the process would have to be redone.
Ministry of Fisheries advised the
meeting that an application for a mataitai in Paterson Inlet had
been submitted on Friday September 19th 2003. Local iwi had applied
for an area outside the proposed reserve boundaries. This news came
as a surprise to all non-commercial fishermen attending the meeting.
Q: Why has Iwi applied
for 90% of the Inlet outside the proposed reserve boundaries and
is this fait accompli?
A: MFish staff present had not seen the application.
Q: What will happen
to the submissions to the proposal?
A: The Ministry of Fisheries will summarise them for the Minister.
Q: What guarantee
do we have that the submissions will be actioned/listed to?
A: MFish replied that it would be worth more than their jobs to not take notice of the submissions and to do so would be also personally reprehensible.
Q: Will each submission
Q: What credence
will MFish put on submissions from offshore i.e. Germany ? Will
MFish be doing the same as DoC did and actively solicit submissions
from offshore to bolster the numbers in favour?
A: MFish advise it would depend on the submission, they had not thought of this. Submissions that gave reasons for or against would be given precedence over a submission that just said yes/no.
Q: Does MFish have
an email address that can be used for sending in submissions?
A: MFish advise they had not though about electronic submissions. Electronic submissions should be sent c/o Ray Voller at his MFish address.
Q: Why has DoC persisted
with the reserve when in 1992 there was strong reaction against
having a reserve in Paterson Inlet?
A: DoC advises this is due to the current political arena which is favourable to marine reserves.
Q: What is unique
about the proposed reserve area?
A: DoC advises it houses little bits of Paterson Inlet. It is representative of the area. The reduction in size of the original proposal has come about after previous public consultation.
Q: What weighting
is put on submissions?
advise submissions should be sent in as an individual submission
with details such as:
Pros/cons on why the reserve approval should, or should not be granted.
Impact on the area.
Effects on non-commercial fishing.
Visual damage to the area - number/increase of visitors to such a small area.
Damage to seabed life due to increase in diving/mooring of vessels.
Loss of fishing for visiting hunters as one hunting block backs onto the proposed reserve and hunters would have to go onto another block to fish (this may not be a welcome move from that block holder and also safety concerns)
Although this meeting
was advertised as a Ministry of Fisheries meeting staff from the
Department of Conservation dominated the discussion. As is common
in these types of meetings there were strong views expressed from
both supporters of the marine reserve and those who did not support
the application. All present were encouraged to submit their ideas
to the Ministry of Fisheries by October 28th 2003.
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