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option4 Update #
30 - August Fishing News
Great Barrier Marine Reserve Proposal
When is the Department of Conservation (DoC) going to produce it's evidence to justify a marine reserve on the northeast coast of Great Barrier Island ? So far all we have had is $260 spent on advertising, three public meetings on the island and a brochure that is full of inaccuracies. For full details and background information on this proposal go to www.option4.co.nz/gbibackgrd.htm
When is DoC going to listen to the public?
Auckland Conservation Board
option4 addressed the Auckland Conservation Board meeting on Thursday 26 th June. The most significant subject discussed during the public forum was the DoC proposal for the Barrier. The board specifically asked for evidence of misrepresentation, so we have put together a list of what we perceive as being the Department's disinformation programme to convince the public that the marine reserve has strong support. This document can be read in full on the option4 website
. To read our address to the Board go to www.option4.co.nz/gbiacbsm and www.option.4.co.nz/gbiacbtr.htm
Drop In Sessions
The public have asked for more information and adequate consultation. To date neither has been forthcoming. On day 86 of a 90-day process DoC advise us by email, " To ensure that your view is included in the report, please submit your questionnaire by 31 July 2003 .
We will be running some 'drop-in' sessions in July for people to speak face-to-face with DOC staff and Auckland Conservation Board members about the GBI marine reserve proposal. I will provide you details of these sessions shortly."
Is this good enough? Effectively it seems the submission deadline has been extended by one month. These 'drop in' sessions have been advertised in the public notices column of the NZ Herald twice.
The issue of public awareness is still not being addressed. option4 are determined to see good process and adequate consultation. So far DoC have failed to deliver on both.
Two excellent submissions have been written in response to the DoC Barrier proposal. Keith Ingram has written one on behalf of the NZ Recreational Fishing Council. This can be read at www.option4.co.nz/gbirfcsub.htm
The Rock Lobster Industry Council makes some very good points in their submission at www.option4.co.nz/gbirlic.htm
Both are must-reads as they make some excellent observations.
Now is the time to step up to the plate and make your views known, then DoC cannot say they weren't told of the public's concerns. It really is that simple. Don't be part of the silent majority, do it now and tell your mates. Otherwise, forget about fishing the east coast of Barrier in perpetuity. There are no second chances. Make a submission online at www.option4.co.nz/gbisubform.htm or call Emma Rush on 09 3074862 for a proposal document and submission form.
option4 have a strong interest in conservation. Our principle # 3 asking for a Planning Right is all about the ability to conserve fish for future generations. To achieve this we need a system where those fish we conserve are not allocated to the fishing industry.
Reallocation of Species
A prime example of the conservation efforts of those of us fishing for food being ignored is the SNA2 decision last year. The public fishing in the area from East Cape to Wellington have made huge concessions over the years to improve the snapper fishery with voluntary bag limit reductions, size limit increases and the encouragement to take a feed and leave the rest for another day. The result of these conservation efforts has seen an improvement in the fish stocks in the area. The Minister of Fisheries ignored the conservation measures made by the public and allocated more quota to the commercial sector. This was despite evidence to prove the public were catching more fish than what he has allowed. Where is the justification here?
Kingfish are about to enter the Quota Management System (QMS). It seems from the advice the Ministry has given to the Minister of Fisheries the same allocation scenario could be developing. The public have made an enormous effort to conserve the kingfish stocks with voluntary one metre minimum size limits and one fish per day on most boats these days. Meanwhile the industry has seen the introduction into the QMS as an opportunity to build up catch history. The Ministry are now recommending to the Minister the industry be allocated as much, if not more than they have already caught till now. option4 have responded to the ministry advice. The full documents will available online at www.option4.co.nz .
Tawharanui Marine Park
The Auckland Regional Council have proposed to change the Tawharanui Marine Park to a marine reserve. Original submission deadline was 18 th July. ARC have agreed to extend the deadline so more people have time to consider their proposal and make a submission. One of the major concerns is DoC gaining control of another piece of public land. Contact Alan Moore at ARC for a copy of the proposal at 09 3794420.
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.
Every dollar donated is used to defend the publics right to go fishing for food. The money pays for us to attend meetings, provide advocacy services and maintain the website. There is only one paid team member and everyone else works for free. Support the team, you know it's the best use of your money you'll ever give anyone.