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Shared Fisheries Letter

Shared Fisheries Letter to option4

by the Minister of Fisheries

21 June 2007


Office of Hon. J. Anderton

Parliament Buildings



21 Jun 2007

Paul Barnes
option4 Project Team Leader
PO Box 37951

Dear Mr Barnes

I refer to your letter of 8 May 2007 requesting a meeting to discuss your submission in support of the Fisheries Amendment Bill and the future management of shared fisheries.

The Fisheries Amendment Bill is currently being dealt with through the Select Committee process and I am not in a position to discuss it prior to it being reported back to Parliament.

I appreciate your offer to provide further input on the future management of shared fisheries. I have already received the “People's Submission” whose development was co-ordinated by option4. The submission process showed that there is considerable support for change across the areas identified in the public discussion document, but that there is no consensus on the way forward.

I have also received a proposal from the Chief Executives of Te Ohu Kai Moana, SeaFIC, and the NZ Recreational Fishing Council to develop a policy framework for shared fisheries. Their proposal includes a commitment to work with other organisations that have an interest in improving the management of shared fisheries.

I value the knowledge and experience that stakeholders have concerning the management of shared fisheries and at this time my preference is to encourage organisations to share this with each other. In view of this, I am prepared to recommend to Cabinet that stakeholders have an opportunity to provide further input as part of moving forward.

Accordingly, at this time my preference is to encourage stakeholders to work together, rather than meet with a particular group.

You have also referred to the kahawai case in your letter. The Shared Fisheries discussion document identified the need to better recognise non-commercial interests in fisheries management decision-making. Justice Harrison’s findings are consistent with this position in respect of allocation. The decision adds to the guidance provided by the courts, but overall it still leaves some questions unanswered. In my view, the ongoing uncertainty means that there is merit in progressing the Shared Fisheries policy initiative.

Yours sincerely

Jim Anderton
Minister of Fisheries


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