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Baldock: UF Backs Recreational Fisherman

Media Statement
For immediate release
Tuesday, 24 August, 2004

Baldock: UF backs recreational fisherman

United Future will support the second reading of the Fisheries No3 Amendment Bill, conditional on the deferring of the introduction of kahawai stocks into the Quota Management System, its fisheries spokesman, Larry Baldock, said today.

The United Future Caucus today backed Mr Baldock's recommendation to support the Bill at its second reading, despite an earlier recommendation from the Primary Production Select Committee for the Bill to be thrown out.

Mr Baldock said the decision comes on the back of substantial discussions with Fisheries Minister David Benson-Pope and officials, resulting in amendments to be introduced by Mr Benson-Pope.

"The Bill is needed and many of the most controversial points that concerned the committee have been addressed," Mr Baldock said.

He said United Future would also table a Supplementary Order Paper revoking the introduction of kahawai into the Quota Management System (QMS).

"The advice given to the minister for the setting of Total Allowable Catch (TAC) and Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC) is unacceptable to the recreational fishing sector and an affront to customary fishing.

"The submissions and appeals by thousands for a reduction in the commercial catch of purse sein fishing vessels to rebuild the stock seem to fall on deaf ears. I will be seeking support from all parties for the SOP on behalf of all Kiwis who love to fish."

Paul Check, chairman of Outdoor Recreation NZ, the environmental affiliate of United Future, welcomed the move, saying that it was great to see the groundwork put into the kahawai lobby paying off.

"The average New Zealander's rights to fish for the table are finally being upheld. This is an important step for all recreational fishermen, and we must get the balance right. United Future, with the support of Outdoor Recreation NZ, is playing just that role," Mr Check said.

Ends.

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