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Minister - review of amateur fishing regulations

Hon David Benson-Pope

Minister announces review of amateur fishing regulations

The Ministry of Fisheries will review a series of amateur fishing regulations identified as a priority by the New Zealand Recreational Fishing Council, Fisheries Minister David Benson-Pope announced today.

Mr Benson-Pope says he and previous Fisheries Minister Pete Hodgson had both invited recreational fishing interests to identify the areas of greatest concern to them. However, response to those repeated invitations had until now been very limited.

Mr Benson-Pope says he is pleased the New Zealand Recreational Fishing Council has taken up the challenge and as a result the Minister has directed MFish to review four areas of regulation to determine what measures, if any, are required to resolve the concerns fishers have with the regulatory regime.

The regulations to be reviewed are those affecting: the primary taker rule – essentially who is entitled to a daily bag limit of a certain species, for example, perceived inequities in different limits for those who dive and those who dredge for scallops aspects of taking and possessing some species – for example, whether measurement is required on the sea floor; or the rules around possession of scuba equipment aboard vessels the amateur daily bag limits for Coromandel scallops the implications of various catching methods such as bobs, pull pots and the use of scoop nets.

"Primarily regulations are a tool for managing the sustainability of fish stocks but they also have to be fair and equitable and achieve the goals for which they were implemented," said Mr Benson-Pope. "All along I've said we would listen to the concerns of fishers and if there are problems then we'll try to fix them.

"This review will be about finding out if these regulations are working well, and to make changes if changes are shown to be necessary."

Mr Benson-Pope says the review will raise complex issues that will be of significant interest to multiple stakeholders, not just recreational fishers. He expected the review to be complete before the start of the October fishing year.

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