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Shared Fisheries

Shared Fisheries Policy Development

2005 - 2007


To keep you informed about developments regarding the Shared Fisheries Policy being devised by the Ministry of Fisheries option4 have compiled this record of the process.

option4's greatest concern is that the Ministry of Fisheries is trying to change the way fisheries are allocated between commercial and non-commercial fishers to a proportional allocation system. If they succeed, fisheries will no longer be a public resource and the fisheries will be fully privatised.


Proportional allocation of fisheries is a method of giving all of the competing users in a fishery, an explicit portion or share of the available catch.

If the fishery improves, everyone's portion is increased by the same percentage.

If the fishery becomes depleted everyone's catch is reduced by the same percentage.

It sounds very simple, and on the surface, it appears to be fair.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The reality is that the proportional system of allocation does not adequately provide for non-commercial fishers, it will only make them minor shareholders in a commercial fishery.

  (Note: Documents are listed with the most recent at the top in each section)

Public Awareness Proportional Allocation


Shared Fisheries

The NZ Big Game Fishing Council have ratified their support of The People's Submission and advise Jim Anderton the NZBGFC do not accept the NZ Recreational Fishing Council as the sole umbrella organisation of all recreational fishers.

4 May 07

(Pdf 30Kbs)

The People's Submission

The joint submission by option4, NZBGFC, Ngati Whatua, Ngapuhi and many others to ensure non-commercial fishers' rights are protected. Originally lodged on 28th February and updated March 2nd. Updated version here ....»

2 Mar 07


The NZ Big Game Fishing Council confirm their contribution to and support of The People's Submission, in a letter to the Minister of Fisheries, Jim Anderton.

28 Feb 07

(Pdf 40Kbs)

What Others are Saying

We Need More Fish in the Sea

Recreational fishermen must be the most optimistic people I know because they are easily motivated to give it another go when their own track record of catching fish is abysmal.

Jun 07

Shared Fisheries - A House Built on Sand

If MFish continue with its blinkered implementation of Shared Fisheries as proposed, the outcome could be catastrophic. Recreational fishing as we know it will be sacrificed.

Apr 07

Joint Media Release

Customary, recreational and commercial fishers join forces in opposing Government shared fisheries proposals.

1 Mar 07

(Pdf 140Kbs)

TOKM Media Release

Te Ohu Kaimoana has concerns that the Shared Fisheries proposals could have a detrimental effect on the Maori commercial fisheries settlement.

2 Feb 07

(Pdf 80Kbs)

NZRFC article in Coast to Coast magazine

Thank you to both NZRFC and Fishing Coast to Coast magazine for permission to make this article available. This summary of the Shared Fisheries proposals is written by Keith Ingram, President of NZRFC.

Feb 07

Sharing the Fish - A Summary - Page One (Pdf 130Kbs)......» » » »

Sharing the Fish - A Summary - Page Two (Pdf 130Kbs)......» » » »

NZRFC news in NZFN magazine

NZRFC News item in the January edition of the New Zealand Fishing News. This article was written by Geoff Rowling, Vice President of NZRFC.

Jan 07

(Pdf 80Kbs)

NZRFC article in Coast to Coast magazine

Thank you to both NZRFC and Fishing Coast to Coast magazine for permission to make this article available.  This material is written by Keith Ingram, President of NZRFC.

Jan 07

(Pdf 40Kbs)

Public Awareness

Latest Updates

Sparks flew in 2000 when the Ministry of Fisheries tried to convince the public that proportional allocation was a fair way to manage our fisheries. Over 100,000 people rejected proportionalism as promoted in the Soundings document and option4 was spawned. Read the latest Updates from option4 team here.........» » » »

Latest news


More Info...

Minister tells industry off

Jim Anderton tells commercial fishers to look beyond their self interest...

29 Oct 06

Recreational fishers condemn fisheries proposals
option4 slam Ministry of Fisheries proposals to proportionally allocate fisheries resources. Find out why they are so concerned......

17 Mar 06

Concerns about Shared Fisheries Policy process

Most of the concerns about proportional allocation and the Ministry's motives for this new Shared Fisheries process is covered in the report of the meeting with the project leader Robin Connor.

27 Feb 06


More Info...

Talks on fishery sharing

The Minister wants to reduce conflict between sectors through the implementation of a shared fisheries policy.

17 Jan 06

More Info...

Govt wants to talk about fish takes

Coverage of the announcement of talks in the National Business Review.

16 Jan 06

More Info...

Talks to commence on allocation

MFish announcement that the Ministry of Fisheries is to begin talking with all sectors regarding allocation of fisheries resources.

16 Jan 06

More Info...

Correspondence with the Minister
option4 request a meeting with the Minister to discuss the future management of shared fisheries and support for the Fisheries Amendment Bill.

8 May 07

More Info...

The Minister advises option4 that he expects the policy to be available for discussion soon and lookd forward to option4's submission to the proposals.

20 Oct 06

(Pdf 185Kb)

option4 offer to meet with the Minister to discuss the development of the Shared Fisheries Policy to ensure the best possible outcome.

28 Sep 06

(Pdf 275Kb)

Consensus letter sent to the Minister pointing out issues that were fundamental to the resolution of the shared fisheries debate. This letter was signed by the NZBGFC, the NZRFC, Ngapuhi and option4.

19 May 06

More Info...

Jim Anderton's reply to option4's December request for a meeting. He will only "consider" a meeting once MFish have done more work.

8 Feb 06

(Jpg 120Kb)

More Info...

Notice to stakeholders "Policy Development for Shared Fisheries" advising of discussions in the new year to try and resolve allocation issues.

21 Dec 05

(Pdf 200Kb)

Acknowledgement from the Minister's office of receipt of our letter sent in December 2005.

20 Dec 05

(Gif 25Kb)

More Info...

option4 write to the Minister of Fisheries briefly explaining the serious issues with proportional allocation and offering our involvement to resolve the outstanding issues.

16 Dec 05

More Info...

Ministry of Fisheries

MFish Deny Extension Request

MFish response to a request from the joint Auckland east and west coast fishing forums to extend the the Shared Fisheries submission deadline.

16 Feb 07

(Pdf 50Kb)

Slippage in Timetable - No Impact on Reform

MFish will not be releasing their public consultation document until late August. MFish do not believe the delay will have any impact on the outcome of the project. option4 object to this new timeframe.

3 May 06


Update on the Shared Fisheries Policy project from the Ministry of Fisheries. This update was presented to the recent Hokianga Accord hui by MFish.

Apr 2006

Briefing paper given to the Regional Recreational Fishing Forums advising of the Shared Fisheries Policy initiative. A lightweight document with no references to other background information.

Jan 2006

(Pdf 30Kb)

Report given to the Minister of Fisheries seeking his agreement on the scope of the Shared Fisheries Policy initiative, the process and timing for developing recommended policy.  (Caution Large Pdf)

16 Dec 05

(Pdf 1.6Mb)

Proportional Allocation

After 20 years of failing to implement the QMS and rebuild depleted fisheries MFish now want to change the way it allocates catches between commercial and non-commercial fishers to a proportional system.

10 Nov 05

More Info...

The proportional policy MFish currently has seems to be a convenient way to ignore the history of fisheries mismanagement and to avoid compensation issues for the Crown. This is a comprehensive analysis of the Ministry's current policy preference. This will leave you in no doubt about what proportionalism is all about.

10 Aug 05


More Info...

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