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option4 Update #119

Fisheries 2030 proposals catalyst for environmental alliance

by the option4 team
July 2009


This article was originally written for the NZ Fishing News magazine August 2009 edition.


An unprecedented alliance between non-commercial fishing and environmental organisations has been forged over the past two months.

This development was sparked by the need to respond to the National government’s Fisheries 2030 proposals, which direct the Minister of Fisheries to recommend, by July, actions “that will enable the fisheries sector to make a significantly greater contribution to the New Zealand economy”.

In mid-June option4, the New Zealand Big Game and Recreational Fishing Councils, the Hokianga Accord, the NZ Angling and Casting Association and Guardians of Hawke Bay Fisheries worked with ECO, Greenpeace and Forest & Bird, and sent a letter to Phil Heatley and his Ministry explaining our collective concerns about the proposals.

The Fisheries 2030 proposals do not reflect the views of non-commercial environmental and fishing interests and we do not support the proposals in their current form.

Specifically, Fisheries 2030 is focused on maximising use and economic benefits from the marine environment to the detriment, we believe, of all New Zealander’s social, economic and cultural well-being.

In addition to the advice letter, the non-commercial fishing interest groups also provided an alternative management strategy that seeks “more fish in the water”.

Both documents are online at the Fisheries 2030 page.

This strategy document is ‘work in progress’ so if you have any feedback after reading the online material please contact us with your comments.

Email 2030@option4.co.nz or call Trish Rea on 0274 175121.

At this stage no feedback has been received from either the Minister or MFish.

Endorsement of the letter and alternative management strategy has subsequently been received from the Marlborough Recreational Fishers Association and the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of New Zealand (CORANZ).

Thanks to both groups for their support.


Shared vision for our fisheries

Our organisations support, in principle, the development of a shared vision. However, the Fisheries 2030 process, to date, has not sought to reach agreement with non-commercial environmental and fishing interests on that vision.

The cornerstone agreement between non-commercial and environmental groups is the vision:

Healthy and abundant oceans with more fish in the water, providing all New Zealanders with access to kai moana and our future generations with the opportunity to enjoy a healthy ocean and sustainable fisheries.

Sustainable fisheries indicators:

  • Fish stocks in a healthy abundant state providing a sustainable catch for customary, recreational and commercial fishers and for non-harvest values.
  • No use of fishing practices and land uses that damage or destroy the marine environment and threatened species;
  • Future generations enjoy the riches and benefits of healthy, abundant and diverse marine ecosystems; and
  • Particular regard is given to the principle of kaitiakitanga/stewardship in all management decisions.
Now the priorities are to both maintain the alliance developed over the past few months, and continue working together on strategies that will optimise the value derived from healthy fisheries, using cost-effective solutions, and applying the tools and mechanisms within the current Fisheries Act.
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