EDS concerned that snapper proposals fail to rebuild stock
Media Release: EDS concerned that snapper proposals fail to rebuild stock
The Environmental Defence Society has lodged a submission on the Ministry for Primary Industries proposed management controls for snapper stocks in the East Northland, Hauraki Gulf and Bay of Plenty areas.
“We are supportive of the Ministry’s proposed interim target of rebuilding the snapper stock to 40% of its original biomass,” said EDS Policy Director Raewyn Peart.
“This would allow fishers to take greater numbers of fish in the long term as well as providing environmental benefits.
“However, we were disappointed to find that all three management options proposed by the Ministry would fail to achieve such a rebuild, and will likely see a further decline in snapper stocks. This is inconsistent with the requirements of the Fisheries Act and the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act.
“In addition, the proposals fail to comply with the Ministry’s Harvest Strategy Standard. This was put in place to provide greater consistency and transparency in the management of New Zealand’s fisheries.
“We are also concerned that the Ministry’s discussion document fails to adequately analyse the effects of different management options on the aquatic environment.
“Because snapper is such a dominant species within coastal ecosystems, failure to rebuild its population has implications for the healthy functioning of the broader marine environment.
“Commercial fishing techniques, such as longlining and trawling, also have significant effects on seabirds and benthic communities which need to be considered.
“EDS has suggested that the Ministry develop a further set of options which consider these matters. If the Minister chooses one of the options currently proposed, his decision could be subject to challenge in the courts.
“The Minister needs to put in place robust interim controls which will enable snapper numbers to rebuild.
“Longer term management options can then be developed through consensus-building processes such as that about to commence for the Hauraki Gulf,” Ms Peart concluded.
Read EDS's submission here....