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NZFN Update July 2003

Dear [ supporter ]

option4 Update # 29 - June Fishing News

Update # 29 NZFN


DoC Bargain - Great Barrier Island access sold for $120

The Department of Conservation (DoC) is promoting the largest ever marine reserve proposal in New Zealand coastal waters. They want to lock us out of a staggering 53,000 hectares (that's 136 square nautical miles) of the north east coast of Great Barrier Island , one of our most treasured places.

option4 are NOT opposed to marine reserves in principle. However, option4 ARE totally committed to good process and a coordinated approach to marine protection.

Submission Deadline

We have met with DoC to seek an extension to the submission deadline 30 th June. DoC response was, "you need to convince us that substantial numbers of people out there are not aware of the proposal".

We consider the public consultation process and the promotion of this proposal are hopelessly inadequate. DoC maintain that a couple of $60 advertisements in the Barrier Bulletin, two or three stories in the Herald and a news item or two on TV is sufficient publicity to satisfy their obligations to inform the public.

No Public Meetings?

At this stage DoC have no intention of holding public meetings in Auckland . Why not? They say that past experience tells them that these meetings turn into "slanging matches". This is certainly not option4's experience of public meetings conducted with good objectives and quality chairmanship.

More Information

If this is the first you have heard of the proposal, or would like to have the opportunity to attend a public meeting, please phone the Department on 09 307 4862 and ask for Emma Rush or Warwick Murray. Alternatively email them at Ask for a copy of the proposal brochure to be posted to you and for you to be placed on the email circulation list that DoC have recently initiated.

Would you also please log on to and join almost 10,000 other members of the public who are pleased to be kept up to date with developments regarding their rights to fish for food. Subscribe to the option4 Updates and Alerts and access over 3000 pages of current data concerning the various processes that have an affect on both your rights and your ability to fish for food.

West Coast Marine Park

Submissions for this proposal are being accepted till 30 th June 2003 . Again we have asked for an extension to this deadline as not enough information has been given to the public to make an informed decision.

The convenor of the West Coast Working Group and Forest and Bird member, Ken Catt, has advised us they will accept submissions up until 30 th September, but the catch is you need to notify them before 30 th June that you would like to submit. This is unacceptable behaviour from a group running a public consultation process. You would have to question the validity of their claims that they are really interested in hearing what the public has to say.

If you would like more information please call Forest and Bird on 09 3033079 and ask for the draft proposal to be posted to you. Or you can go online at and read the full history of this plan. Numbers count, so make your submission before the end of June.

Kingfish size change?

Kingfish are an icon recreational species in New Zealand . Given the chance, they grow to be big and strong and smart. They offer a real challenge to recreational anglers whenever they are encountered. Non-commercial fishers have been concerned about the future of the kingfish fishery since it was left out of the QMS and became an easy target for commercial fishers with little quota. Right now the Minister is consulting on the total catch allowed and how it will be allocated between the sectors. We could ask that the commercial quota be set at zero, but this would not stop commercial fishers catching kingfish as a bycatch and the Minister has already decided that this catch needs to be covered by quota.

The ministry discussion paper (IPP) recognises the importance of kingfish to recreational fishers, and proposes to improve the quality of this fishery by reducing the recreational and commercial catch from average levels. The option that will be most effective sets the commercial quota at 50% of historical catch on the eastern side of the North Island and reallocates 70 tonnes of that reduction to the recreational allowance. This measure should apply to the west coast of the North Island as well. The national tonnages proposed under this option are: 178 tonnes for commercial, 639 tonnes for recreational and 106 tonnes for customary. There are serious errors in the years used to calculate commercial catch and we will be raising these with the Minister.

option4 supports the objective to improve the quality of the fishery. This can only be achieved by reductions in harvest that will see recreational and commercial fishers taking fewer kingfish. The ministry propose to increase the recreational minimum legal size of kingfish to 75 cm. This would be a significant concession for recreational fishers to make and would reduce the total number of kingfish taken by about 45%. Many kingfish less than 75 cm are highly prized by young anglers or are taken home to eat. On the other hand they survive catch and release well and there would be more large fish left to catch.

Email the Ministry of Fisheries with your view on a 75 cm size limit. Should the commercial size limit be 65cm or 75 cm? Do you support the reallocation of commercial quota to the recreational allowance? Would you comply with a 75cm limit? Check out to read the letter from option4 to the Minister regarding the allocation process for kingfish.


Thank you to those who have contributed to the rights debate. The ability to fish for food is a precious right we are trying to protect for our future generations. Representatives from option4 recently attended a club meeting in Hamilton . The Waikato Sports Fishing Club very generously donated to the fighting fund. Thanks for your ongoing support.


Regards from the team at option4

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