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option4 Update #49 NZFN Dec 2004

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Kahawai Legal Challenge – An Investment in our Future

NZ Fishing News
Dec 2004


This challenge is the opportunity for all anglers to make a real contribution to the future of not just kahawai, but all recreational fisheries. It's time to get off the fence and participate. The days of leaving the task to a handful of people cannot go on. If all you can give is the money then fine, but don't just say you will, do it. Do it today and tell your mates and family members. The issues always come down to numbers whether that is dollars or signatures. Not everyone has the time or the inclination but for the cost of a bag of pillies and a snack you CAN help.

It's an investment in the future and it's an investment for you and your kids and all the future generations of kiwis to come. We have all seen the gradual decline in inshore fisheries. It isn't a myth or an aberration of climate. Too many fish have been taken without consideration of the legal rights of the public of New Zealand. Catching a feed isn't that easy any more and yet the ability to manage the fisheries to ensure that a reasonable catch is probable rather than a possibility does still  exist. The Minister of Fisheries and the Ministry are being taken to task and without money the legal process will not be able to achieve the result we all need.
Take ten minutes to do the right thing. A few dollars to safeguard your fishery. The alternative isn't worth thinking about. When was the last time you had an increase in your bag limit? Fact is, it wouldn't matter. The fish aren't there to catch and the only catches that keep going upwards are the commercial ones. Let's get some equality into the decision-making process and have your rights recognised. There's too much at stake to not get involved. 

If you're serious about fishing you have to be serious about helping. No one will do it for you. Compared to an $88 annual trout licence fee,   an investment by you now is a small price to pay for years of pleasure and the opportunity to make sure that there'll be food on the table.

"Daddy, what did you do to save the fishes"?  .....

See the Kahawai Challenge Update elsewhere in the magazine for more details.


Marine Protection - Missed Opportunities

Nugget Point Marine Reserve "activity"

It is concerning to learn that the Department of Conservation (DoC), in their infinite wisdom, will not be preparing and presenting a Proposal document for their Nugget Point marine reserve initiative. Instead, they will be conducting a series of "drop in" meetings this year with some public meetings to follow.

Four "drop in" meetings have already been held with more to follow - Owaka Visitor centre – January 5 & 6, 10am to 5pm; DoC Dunedin office – January 17 & 18, 10am to 5pm.

We could be cynical here and suggest that DoC is trying to avoid adverse reaction to their proposal by not consulting with the wider community and not producing a proposal document. Considering all eight "drop in" meetings are being held on weekdays during working hours, it is hard not to question how serious the Department is when they say " your feedback will be an important factor in the department's decision on how to proceed with this matter."

Working from the 1992 marine reserve application document they are likely to move the boundary lines and include this in a "fresh application" around April 2005. Remember, the application stage is the formal stage of the marine reserve process. You will have two months once the application is lodged to object or submit in support = 60 days, an outrageously inadequate process for permanent, no-take marine reserves that have no formal requirement to review.

When will DoC get it - that people have had enough of inadequate, biased and exclusive processes that do not take into account public opinion? Tired of being ignored? Email Nelson Cross, Chairman of Nugget Point Recreational Fishing Club to find out more at njcross@xtra.co.nz Nelson has organised a public meeting at Kaka Point Hall, January 10 th 2005 at 7.30pm. All welcome to attend.

Marine Protected Areas Strategy
After months of waiting, DoC have finally released their Plan for Marine Protection that they have been working on in conjunction with the Ministry of Fisheries. Full analysis of the document still needs to be completed but submissions are due by 21 January 2005, just as well we have all holidays to read, digest and make informed comment on 21 pages of DoC dialogue.

Unfortunately the Strategy is not what we were hoping for; a more coordinated and integrated approach has been the clear and unequivocal call from the public. DoC have been assuring us for some time now they do want to make progress and include the public in their processes – yeah right!!!!


Stock Strategies Workshop

A Ministry of Fisheries (MFish) four-day workshop was held in Wellington at the end of November to discuss different management strategies for our fisheries.
It has become clear to us during the development of the Kahawai Legal Challenge that important inshore shared fisheries need to be more carefully managed than commercial only fish stocks. Ensuring a larger baseline population is the only way to improve the quality of recreational fishing and the ability to fish for food. MFish's plan is to have some Stock Strategies developed by August 2005.
Foveaux  Strait Ecosystem Management Program
NIWA has initiated a proposal to conduct research in Foveaux Strait and option4 have given the program its full support. An application for funding has been lodged with the Foundation for Research Science and Technology (FRST). The project will be studying in part, the correlation between dredging and fish populations. There is a suggestion that Foveaux Strait could be divided into sections that would be rotationally dredged allowing some areas to regenerate and provide improved habitat for other species.
This research is expected to contribute to the ecosystem management that will see our marine environment improve with no anticipated need for a reduction in bag limits. This is an innovative and exciting management concept for our marine environment. DoC would do well to take note of NIWA's approach to consultation and overall management.

New Species into the QMS

In August option4 submitted to the proposed introduction of seven new species into the Quota Management System (QMS) on 1 October 2005. We supported Albacore Tuna and Skipjack Tuna being introduced but objected to the shellfish species not already included in the QMS to be given away in perpetuity in the form of quota rights.

We now learn that consultation process has to be restarted due to the Fisheries Amendment Act (No.3) 2004 being passed into law and effective as of 1 October 2004.

option4 believe the way the QMS is being used does not adequately recognise the interests of future generations of non-commercial fishers to access fisheries of traditional and cultural importance.


New Zealand Big Game Fishing Council database

Congratulations to NZBGFC for their investment in establishing a database for those who belong to or are simply interested in the activities of game fishing clubs et al. Well worth while taking the time to subscribe to receiving really good information – please visit https://www.nzbgfc.org.nz/ .  


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