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Trout import moratorium extended

13 October 2001 Media Statement

Trout import moratorium extended


A cheque for $50,000 was today handed over by the Minister of Tourism Mark Burton to the Tongariro Trout Centre.

The money comes from the Tourism Facilities Grant Fund, and will be used for the construction of an interpretation centre and auditorium.

Mark Burton also announced today that the existing moratorium prohibiting the importation of trout would be extended for a further three years.

"The buying and selling of trout is prohibited by law, where the trout have been taken in New Zealand. These restrictions do not apply to imported trout, but a moratorium has been in place since 1999.

"The tourism industry and thousands of anglers want to see our trout resource protected as a sports fishery. They see it as an important part of the New Zealand way of life. Around 150,000 New Zealanders and 50,000 international visitors go fishing for trout each year.

"Many of those anglers are also concerned that allowing the importation of trout would encourage poaching.

"In 1998, I introduced a member's bill to address these concerns. The Conservation (Protection of Trout as a Non Commercial Species) Amendment Bill remains on parliament's order paper.

"The Government's decision to extend the import moratorium for a further three years was taken following a thorough review. The decision recognises that the extension of the import moratorium will represent the most appropriate and immediate means of ensuring that the domestic sales prohibition on trout in New Zealand is not undermined," Mark Burton said.


ENDS

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