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option4 History

option4 History
2000 - 2001

An affiliation of concerned New Zealand citizens and fishing people created a task force called option4 in response to the document Soundings in 2000. The discussion document was the work of the Rights Working Group (RWG) consisting of Ministry of Fisheries staff and members of the NZ Recreational Fishing Council (NZRFC). The RWG asked for submissions on the future management and rights of recreational fishers.  

Soundings included three options for the public to consider in regards to our future fishing rights. They were:
1. Discretionary share (status quo, the current system)
2. Proportional share (a fixed share of the available fishery)
3. Recreational management (proportional share and management control).

option4 believes that the RWG, in the Soundings document, adopted a set of preconceived and indefensible assumptions about the relationship New Zealanders have with the seas surrounding their lands, whilst at the same time having omitted reference to many important issues surrounding the pre-existing rights of New Zealanders to fish and harvest these seas.

option4 were determined to ensure all possible options for the future management of recreational fishing were considered on their merits and debated as widely as possible.

option4 Objective:
To carry the four principles of option4 all the way through the rights redefinition process and to have those principles enshrined in legislation.

option4 Principles:

  1. A priority right over commercial fishers for free access to a reasonable daily bag limit to be written into legislation.
  2. The ability to exclude commercial methods that deplete recreationally important areas.
  3. The ability to devise plans to ensure future generations enjoy the same or better quality of rights while preventing fish conserved for recreational use being given to the commercial sector.
  4. No licensing of recreational fishers.

option4 compiled a submission , sought input and support through widespread debate, the option4 website, articles and interviews in the media. Considerable awareness was created among the fishing public generating extensive discussion on talkback radio.

option4 achieved a staggering level of consensus on public harvesting rights in the marine environment. Of the 62,117 submissions made during the Soundings process 61,178 (98.5%) supported the objective and four principles of option4 contained in the submission. This was an unprecedented response to a fisheries management proposal.

Summary of Soundings Process
For full details on the Soundings process please go here for more information » »

After Soundings
option4 has continued the effort to redefine the right of the public to harvest food from the sea. The task force maintains the objective and 4 principles and works in conjunction with many other representative organisations to secure the rights of non-commercial fishers in the marine environment.

In addition to the option4 website regular Updates are provided online and in the media to keep people informed of progress. If you would like to be kept up to date with events and our progress please register here.

If you would like to contact the option4 team please email us at contact@option4.co.nz


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