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UnitedFuture’s commitment to recreational fishers

Media statement
Embargoed until 1.00pm
Friday 18 July 2008


UnitedFuture’s commitment to recreational fishers

Speaking to the New Zealand Recreational Fishing Council Conference today in Gisborne, UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne has reiterated his party’s support for the marine recreational fishing sector.

“UnitedFuture has always and will always seek to promote the interests of the recreational fishing community,” said Mr Dunne.

“The marine recreational fishing sector is facing some major challenges in coming years due to a range of issues.

“Commercial and customary interests are squeezing many traditional recreational fisheries dry, as evidenced by the Cray 3 situation here in Gisborne, while the Government’s programme of locking up as much of the coastline as possible into marine reserves has further alienated the sector.

“UnitedFuture will seek to empower the recreational fishing sector through a statutory management structure, based upon the very successful Fish and Game model. It will be partially funded by a petrol excise rebate on fuel used in recreational vessels.

“UnitedFuture will also guarantee that the recreational share of the relevant QMS (Quota Management System) is set before the commercial share, giving recreational fishers a greater say over the sustainability of the fishery.

“We aim to ensure that recreational interests are properly consulted on any regulatory changes that affect marine activities, including the establishment of marine reserves.

“UnitedFuture believes the Government’s current policy on marine reserves is too arbitrary and unnecessarily prohibits recreational fishers from many areas of our coastline.

“We wish to abandon this percentage approach and establish a graduated system of marine protection with no-take marine reserves as the most extreme of several categories of protection,” said Mr Dunne.

ENDS

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