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Anglers Warn of Commercialised Trout Danger

NZ Federation of Freshwater Anglers

Anglers Warn of Commercialised Trout Danger in Government Bill

The New Zealand Federation of Freshwater Anglers (NZFFA) has warned of the dangers of commercial trout farming being allowed under an amended government bill supposedly to protect native fish.

“This reaction is despite Fish and Game NZ’s support for the amended bill,” said NZFFA president Dr Peter Trolove. “It still legitimizes the farming and sale of trout under Section 2 (1) and (a) Section 26ZG(2)(c). I can only assume Fish and Game did not notice the danger.”

Ensuring that the selling of trout and consequently trout-farming would be clearly prohibited could have been avoided by replacing 'freshwater fish' with 'indigenous freshwater fish', as was found in the rest of the bill.

Peter Trolove who has worked on Scottish fish farms and is qualified in freshwater veterinary work, said the strong suspicion was that it was “a deliberate omission, with a deliberate purpose”.

“It legitimizes the illegal Tuwharetoa agreement, opens the way for further amendments to other treaty agreements and would take a simple change in Fisheries Act regulations to open it up completely to anyone to farm trout,” he said.

Over decades New Zealand had deliberately avoided the sale and farming of trout as placing a dollar value on the flesh would give rise to increased poaching and black markets.

“Don’t say it wouldn’t happen, as poaching and black markets have become rife with other fish and game resources such as venison, paua and crayfish.” said Peter Trolove.

Trout farming was a capital intensive, high risk venture with very uncertain economics. It would endanger the multi-million dollar value of the sports trout fishery valuable to domestic and international tourist earnings.

It was ironic that Tuwharetoa were seeking to farm a fish that did not exist in New Zealand in 1840 when the Treaty of Waitangi was signed.

Referring to Fish and Game’s support for the amended bill, Peter Trolove said perhaps Fish and Game NZ were in an invidious position in being controlled by an Act of Parliament that made the organisation first and foremost, responsible to the Minister of Conservation and DOC.

“The NZ Federation of Freshwater Anglers does not have statutory constraints and therefore can speak out with freedom,” he said.


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