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Government Approval for Kingfish Rescue

Kingfish Go Wild

Media Release

Monday 3rd July 2006

Sanford Ltd and NZ Recreational Fishing Council Get Government Approval for Kingfish Rescue

The crucial approvals from Biosecurity and MFish (Ministry of Fisheries) have been given and it’s ‘Kingfish Go Wild’, says Sanford Ltd CEO Eric Barratt.

“It’s been confirmed that the kingfish are healthy and disease-free and MFish has approved the transportation and release of the fish. The Ministry has been extremely helpful in fast-tracking the necessary paperwork and testing,” he said.

Commercial fishing company Sanford Ltd and the NZ Recreational Fishing Council (NZRFC) have joined forces to ensure the release into the wild of healthy kingfish from a closing fish farming venture in the Far North.

“The goal is to save the healthy fish and transport them to release spots down the East Coast,” said Mr Barratt. “The kingfish fishery is a shared fishery between commercial, recreational and customary. Everyone can potentially benefit from the release of tens of thousands of fish into the wild. It’s important for all users of fisheries to participate in sharing responsibility for the management of fisheries. We’re thrilled to be able to make the difference in ensuring the success of the project.”

“We’re very pleased to get the ‘green light’ for the ‘Kingfish Go Wild’ project,” says President of the NZRFC (New Zealand Recreational Fishing Council) Keith Ingram. “One of the key permissions was for recreational fishers to be in possession of undersize fish.”

Mr Ingram said that support from Sanford Ltd and assistance from Lawson Transport, MFish and NIWA has been invaluable.

The first releases are planned to occur in the week starting 10th July.

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BACKGROUND

The kingfish are owned by a subsidiary of the Parengarenga Incorporation. The farm is to close and the fish must go, however the joint venture has now purchased the fish that are suitable (from 0.5kg to 2kg) to release them into the wild.

Sanford Limited’s commitment has ensured that the project can go ahead, including the tagging, transport and release.

The task of transporting thousands of small live fish around the country is risky at the best of times and requires specialist equipment. The ability to transport large numbers of larger fish is a major challenge in itself, but one that can be done with care. NIWA’s professional advice and expertise, along with the use of their live fish transport tanks and professional assistance, will ensure the fish travel safely. The NIWA tank has been developed specifically for transporting live fish. A further two smaller tanks have been supplied by Aquahort and will be used to transport the larger fish to local release areas.

The tank will be carried by Lawson Transport, a company with experience in transporting live fish. Transporting live fish as cargo is significantly different to that of freight or logs. The truck must travel at smooth speeds and easy in the bends. Creating a ‘washing machine effect’ will stress the fish, reducing their chances of recovering for their initial acclimatization and survival once released.

Numerous donations – large and small – are making up the difference and ensuring that the project can be completed effectively. Further donations from keen recreational fishers and supporters are being sought.

Releases will occur in batches from Taipa and Whangaroa to the Bay of Islands, and the Hauraki Gulf starting from 10th July 2006. Because of the higher risk associated with transporting larger fish, only smaller fish will be released in the Hauraki Gulf.

Visit the web site www.kingfishgowild.co.nz for regular updates.

Donations can be sent to the NZRFC at 4 Prince Regent Drive, Half Moon Bay, Auckland, or to PO Box 26-064, Newlands, Wellington

Media Release

Monday 26th June 2006

Kingfish Go Wild – Sanford Ltd and NZ Recreational Fishing Council Prepare for Rescue and Release

Commercial fishing company Sanford Ltd and the NZ Recreational Fishing Council (NZRFC) have joined forces to affect the release into the wild of healthy kingfish from a failed fish farming venture in the Far North.

“The goal is to save the healthy fish and transport them to release spots down the east coast,” said Sanford Ltd CEO Eric Barratt. “In the kingfish fishery – a shared fishery between commercial, recreational and customary – everyone can potentially benefit from the release of tens of thousands of fish into the wild. It’s important for all users of fisheries to participate in sharing responsibility for the management of fisheries. That benefits everyone. We’re very pleased to be able to make the difference in ensuring the success of the project.”

Permission is being sought from MFish (Ministry of Fisheries) and BioSecurity, with support from NIWA (the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research) which breeds kingfish for farming, for the approvals to release the fish identified as suitable into the wild.

The NZRFC has started its campaign in seeking donations from the public and acknowledges the public support given to this project. President of the NZRFC, Keith Ingram says that Sanford Ltd’s commitment has helped to save the day.

“Any project facing deadlines such as this must be carried out quickly and to have Sanford Ltd on board will ensure its success. It’s a great way to support shared fisheries and we now have the resources to make the goal achievable. We still need more – so we’re asking recreational fishermen and women to donate what they can. Quickly. We hope that further donations will make up the difference required.”

There is a deadline for the project as the fish farm can only continue to support the kingfish for a limited time. The fish are owned by a subsidiary of the Parengarenga Incorporation. The farm is to close and the fish must go, however the joint venture has the potential to ensure the fish are purchased and then safely released when the appropriate approvals are given. The kingfish identified as suitable to travel distances range in size from 0.5kg to 2kg. Consideration of releasing the larger fish locally is underway.

Keith Ingram confirmed that NIWA has made its purpose built live fish transporting tank system available for release of the fish at sites from Taipa and Whangaroa to the Bay of Islands and Hauraki Gulf, where the truck-mounted tanks would be put on a barge and taken to islands such as the Noises. NIWA has advised that the fish are hardy and healthy and believe from past experiences they should survive and will likely remain in a school near the release locations for some time as they acclimatize.

The NZRFC are proactively seeking further donations to support the initiative. They have a web site www.kingfishgowild.co.nz providing regular updates. Donations can be sent to the NZRFC at 4 Prince Regent Drive, Half Moon Bay, Auckland, or to PO Box 26-064, Newlands, Wellington.


ENDS

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