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Ministry asked to justify extent of closure

Phil Heatley MP
National Party Fisheries Spokesman
Colin King
National Party Kaikoura MP

3 August 2008

Ministry asked to justify extent of blue cod closure

Pressure from National MPs has resulted in Parliament's Primary Production Committee agreeing to have the Ministry of Fisheries brief them on the recent decision to close the Marlborough Sounds blue cod fishery.

The Ministry intends to close the fishery for four years from 1 October.

National’s Fisheries spokesman, Phil Heatley, says: “This is a particularly significant closure, given the wide area involved and the degree of recreational fishing undertaken in the area. It will also put blue cod numbers in other areas under much more pressure.”

The Ministry has agreed to brief the select committee on 28 August, and Kaikoura MP Colin King will be substituted onto the committee that day to hear the officials explain their decision.

Mr King says: “I’m delighted with this good result. The closure is a major issue for the top of the south and I have fielded many calls from people concerned about the decision.

“No one wants to see stocks of any species put at risk by over-fishing, but a four-year closure is a significant decision and must be justified.

“Phil Heatley and I look forward to hearing the officials explain the process and the reasoning they used to make it.”


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