Recreational Bias in Minister’s Snapper Decision
17 September 2013
Recreational Bias in Minister’s Decision Snapper Fishery East Coast North Island
This is a shared fishery where recreational, commercial and customary interests fish side by side. We need decisions that create incentives for us to work together to manage the fishery.
We have all taken cuts when needed – and we all need to experience (allocation) gains in the good times.
The good times are here – the fishery is healthier than it has been for 20 years and growing despite the unrestrained growth in the recreational and charter boat sector.
But now the rebuild plan is showing success, the increased catch allocation is given to only one sector – recreational fishers.
It is of concern to us that despite the recreational allowance being exceeded by 52% there has been no allowance for increased commercial catch, even a small catch increase to start to offset the additional costs in the Minister’s decision.
Despite commercial allocations being cut in the past, commercial fishers have kept within their catch limits.
It is unfair to penalise commercial fishers and sends a poor message to the commercial sector – look after the fishery but ultimately you will lose it. That drives a deep wedge into the heart of the conservation ethic out on the water.
The most basic foundation of our fisheries management system is that fishers in all sectors need to take a long term view. A restrained catch today gives everyone a greater catch tomorrow. This no longer seems to ring true.
There is a huge population of Aucklanders who rely on commercial fishers to make their fish available in fish shops, supermarkets and restaurants. How would Auckland continue to rank as one of the top 10 cities to live in the world if you can’t buy snapper locally or at a restaurant?