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New mood in Gulf fisheries

New mood in Gulf fisheries

Hauraki Gulf Forum chairman John Tregidga has welcomed an offer by Sanford Chief Executive Volker Kuntzsch to stop all commercial fishing in the area if everyone who ‘throws a line in’ to the country’s most popular fishery records and reports what they are catching.

The offer was made yesterday at the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Seminar, the Hauraki Gulf Forum’s annual seminar, at the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

Mr Tregidga said a new mood for collaboration was emerging four years on from the Forum’s 2011 State of Gulf report, which warned of widespread decline around the Gulf.

“The growth of Auckland and the popularity of recreational fishing means more and more pressure will be put on fish stocks. Sanford’s offer shows a willingness to re-examine business models, to look for accommodation and encourage innovation that will turn around the health of the Hauraki Gulf/ Tīkapa Moana,” he says.

Mr Tregidga says more than half the snapper caught in the Hauraki Gulf was by recreational fishers and current measures were unlikely to rebuild stock to optimal levels for yield and ecosystem health.

He said recent surveys had observed 1859 recreational boats fishing the Gulf on a single day.

“I’m confident the recreational fishing sector can also step up and embrace the challenge of stewardship for the Gulf.”

The Hauraki Gulf Forum has worked closely with the shipping industry to introduce a protocol to operate safely around the Gulf’s Bryde’s whales. Average large vessel ship speed has reduced from 14.6 to 10.9 knots in three years, close to the internationally-recognised target speed.

It has also supported efforts to equip all 55 longline boats fishing in the Gulf with seabird smart training and mitigation following warnings the Gulf’s resident black petrel population was threatened through accidental capture.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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