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UF spins a whopper of a fishy tale

UF spins a whopper of a fishy tale

Green Party Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons today criticised United Future for spending taxpayer dollars on a misleading nationwide newspaper advertisement.

“It’s sad when political parties get so low in the polls that in desperation they spend their advertising dollars attacking other parties rather than promoting their own policies,” she said.

Ms Fitzsimons said the advertisement, which ran in today’s Sunday Star-Times, is highly misleading.

“Larry Baldock’s amendment would have done nothing to ‘make more kahawai available to recreational fishermen and fewer to the big fishing companies’, as he claims. All it would have done is remove all catch limits in the hope that the minister would set them differently next year.

“Without some basis to believe that hope would be realised, it actually offered nothing to recreational fishers.

“Many of the kahawai fishers who have written to me thanking the Greens for the position that we have taken on kahawai would be astonished to read United Future’s claims.

“We recognised that the amendment wouldn’t have delivered anything to ordinary fishing people, so we negotiated with the Minister to obtain written promises that there will be substantial investment in collecting more data about kahawai over the next year to provide a scientific basis for setting different catch limits.

“Our success means that the Minister has given a written statement recognising that kahawai have greatest value as a recreational fish and should be managed as such. Also, it’s now on record that he will consider no-go areas for purse seine boats in order to protect recreational opportunities, if the data justifies it.

“While no-one can guarantee that next year the commercial catch is reduced in favour of a better recreational catch, many fishers are now recognising that the course the Greens took offers a much better outcome for recreational fishers than the amendment did.

“It's the difference between grandstanding from the outside and seeking real change through negotiation on the inside.

“It’s also an example of the ability to negotiate for a better outcome that reflects the reality of the Greens’ success as a stable support party in the previous term and a constructive opposition in the current term - the numbers back this up,” she said.

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