fishing places are depleted and no longer capable of providing
for non-commercial fishers’ customary or sustenance
needs. The effects of this depletion means smaller and fewer
fish are available. This impacts on the mana of iwi/hapu and
also because around 34 percent of all ‘recreational’
fishermen are Maori.
After eleven overnight hui and countless working group hui
everyone is clear that the vast majority of kaimoana harvested
by tangata whenua is taken under the amateur fishing regulations.
In 2005 Ngapuhi’s Chairman, Sonny Tau, explained, “99.99
percent of the time Maori go fishing to feed our whanau we
are categorised as recreational fishers. The only time we
are customarily fishing is when we have a permit”.
Another early discovery was the collective distaste for the
term ‘recreational’ fishing. The Accord has agreed
that it will refer to fishing to put food on the table as
amateur or sustenance fishing.
Customary fishing is not so clear-cut. Discussions with the
Ministry of Fisheries are continuing on how customary fishing
is defined, and often confined, by various interpretations
of the Crown’s obligations to tangata whenua. MFish
continues to obstruct northern iwi and a letter has been sent
to the Minister of Fisheries explaining the issues and requesting
. Jim Anderton’s office has responded and
any meeting will be reported on later.