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Changing times for recreational fishing

14th July 2006

Anderton addresses changing times for recreational fishing

Jim Anderton today addressed the New Zealand Recreational Fishing Council AGM in Hamilton. He talked about the issues of 'shared fisheries' and congratulated the joint project "Kingfish Go Wild" that pointed to a new collaborative approach to fisheries management in New Zealand.

"New Zealanders love to drop a hook and try to catch a fish. There is no other past time we love as much. It's part of our holidays and part of our lifestyle that we go to the water and fish. Fishing is a part of our Kiwi identity. However, it is not as simple as this anymore. Times are changing," Jim Anderton said today.

"The 'Kingfish Go Wild’ initiative was a very successful joint project between the commercial company, Sanford Ltd’s and the non-commercial NZRFC with agency's like NIWA helping as well. It was an example of how two sectors – commercial and recreational – can work together toward the ministry's goal of shared fisheries. Building a strong, working relationship between competing interest groups is a very good sign for the future.

"The Shared Fisheries Project is a crucial initiative that supports improved fisheries management over the next few years and work on the policy has moved into a new phase. It will include substantial opportunities for stakeholder input and this conference is timely in bringing the NZRFC members together to address the significant issues that are important to your organisation.

"Fishing has always been important to our economy. Many of the first commercial transactions between Maori and European arrivals involved fish. So the industry was one of New Zealand's first reliable sources of foreign exchange!

"Today, our fishing and marine industries are growing quickly and earning more foreign exchange than ever. New Zealand's commercial aim should be to double the value we receive, without increasing the number of wild fish we take. The economic growth should come from increasing the value we achieve.

"Collaboration is not always easy. But changes have to be made. I know the NZRFC members are actively representing a very large sector and I know you are making a positive contribution. I will be listening to the recreational sector and I am encouraged by the goodwill I have found in working through the issues," Jim Anderton said today at the conference in Hamilton

ENDS

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