Snapper Changes Disadvantage Recreational Fishers - Again
Richard Prosser MP
Spokesperson for Fisheries
17 September 2013
Limit Changes Disadvantage Recreational Fishers - Yet
New Zealand First says changes to daily bag limits in the Snapper 1 Fishery announced today have once again come at the expense of recreational fishers, while leaving quota and destructive fishing practices for the commercial sector untouched.
Fisheries spokesperson Richard Prosser says the reduction in daily catch for recreational fishers from nine down to seven, and an increase in minimum size from 27cm to 30cm, was not matched by any corresponding requirement for commercial fishers to contribute to the rebuilding of fish stocks.
Mr Prosser said Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy's announcement of an "increase" of 500 tonnes for the recreational sector was smoke and mirrors.
"This so-called increase is not an increase at all, it's a partial recognition of the fact that the allocation given to the recreational sector 16 years ago was too little, because it was based on inadequate information and poorly researched figures.
"For the Minister to claim that recreational fishers have been over-fishing their limits, and then take more of it away while claiming to be increasing it, is double-speak on a quite fantastic scale.
"Talk of cameras, and reporting, and upper size limits for commercial long-line fishers, do not address the real issues facing the regeneration of stock in the fishery as they are not addressing the size of trawl nets, they're not limiting trawling in spawning grounds, they're not stopping wastage from purse seining or preventing commercial fishers from taking fish that would be undersized for recreational fishers, and they're not doing anything to prevent commercial boats from poaching in the inshore fishery.
"The proposed monitoring regime is a case of doing nothing, and not doing it for two years at that, and in the meantime the commercial sector can carry on business as usual while the recreational fisher takes the hit of yet another reduction in allowable take - the fifth in twenty years.
"These changes are a sop to National's mates in the commercial fishing industry at the expense of ordinary recreational fishers. People shouldn't stand for it and I don't believe they will," says Mr Prosser.