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Recreational Fishing Parks a Sop to Commercial Fishers

Recreational Fishing Parks a Sop to Commercial Fishers

The Government's consultation document on marine and recreational fishing parks has drawn fire from the Outdoors Party. They say it will have negligible impact on recreational sea fishing and shows how little those politicians who support it understand fishing and the outdoors. "Sediment and pollution from aquaculture, forestry run off, changes to estuarine morphology from reduced river flows and ploughing up the seabed with scallop dredgers and trawl nets are all factors in why our recreational fisheries are going down the gurgler." Said David Haynes, spokesperson for the Outdoors Party".

"Given the catastrophic decline of the Tasman and Golden Bay scallop beds, you have to wonder why this Government proposes continuing to allow the destructive practice of scallop dredging in the Marlborough recreational fishing park", said Haynes. "Research in the Sounds has revealed 30 years of seabed decline as a result of sediment and seabed disturbance, 71% of that in the last four years alone. Aquaculture is also a known source of sediment from faecal matter and fish food waste and yet this will also be allowed to continue in the Sounds fishing park".

Haynes continued "But the single biggest spoiler to recreational sea fishing nationally is declining fish stocks and a Quota Management System that rewards waste and results in hundreds of tonnes of fish being killed and dumped overboard. Rather than deal with this issue the Government would rather 'tinker with tinsel'."

The Outdoors Party said that fish migrate large distances, especially during spawning, so simply marking off a small piece of sea as a recreational fishing park would not stop these fish being commercially harvested elsewhere.

Given that, by the Government's own admission, so little commercial fin fishing occurs in the inner Hauraki Gulf, designating this a recreational fishing area will have no impact on fish stocks according to Haynes and once again he re-iterated that "The issues for thousands of inner Hauraki Gulf sea fishers is the preferential rules for the commercial trawlers over recreational sector." Recreational fishers suffered a reduced snapper bag limit and an increase in minimum size in 2014 whilst the commercial sector's take remained unchanged.

"The concerns of over a million recreational saltwater anglers and a billion dollar plus recreational fishing economy once again seems to comes second to a handful of powerful corporate fishing enterprises." Haynes said.


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