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Trout Federation Backs Freshwater Policy But Wants Urgency

Trout Federation Backs Freshwater Policy But Wants Urgency

The NZ Federation of Freshwater Anglers (NZFFA) , which represents the interests of all freshwater anglers who fish in New Zealand, has backed the need for a national policy statement of freshwater management but wants greater urgency.

In its submission recently made to government, NZFFA president David Haynes of Nelson , said the federation supported the fundamental need for a National Policy Statement (NPS) on Freshwater Management. “It is a standard well overdue given the primacy of fresh water to our environment, economy, society and most importantly – life. We have been advocating for standards to protect both quality and quantity of water for many decades,” he said. “However, the proposals fall well short of improving the ability of our fresh water to sustain life.”

David Haynes said several key areas were of concern. National bottom lines for
ecosystem health and human health were far too low while time scales for mplementation were far too long.

There was also a serious flaw in that NPS only applies to new activities or to changes to existing activities, not to those existing activities he said.

Ecosystem health was a critical measure of freshwater health but the measures proposed are neither extensive nor stringent enough.

“Our scientists suggest the bottom lines for ecosystem health are too low to sustain life. Why are some attributes proposed applicable to rivers but not lakes, temperature being the most obvious example? We recommend that the ecosystem health attributes are applied equally to all fresh water.”

Those attributes that do have numbers applied to them - the national bottom lines – are far too low to sustain fish life and fly in the face of extensive scientific research completed over the last thirty years.

“Water quality and quantity management should be a priority for the government
– without it our fresh water may no longer be so,” said David Haynes. “The fact that New Zealand has only 4.3 million people, under the size of Sydney, yet suffers from water quality and flow problems underlines the fact that this matter is of extreme urgency”.

A copy of the NZFFA submission can be found at http://www.nzfishingclubs.co.nz/index.htm


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