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Every Fish Counts this summer

Hon Phil Heatley
Minister of Fisheries

15 December 2009
Media Statement

“Every Fish Counts” this summer

He kaitiaki tātou katoa

Four million guardians – this is the way we should be thinking about New Zealand’s fisheries this summer.

Launching the Ministry of Fisheries’ summer education campaign, Fisheries Minister Phil Heatley, an enthusiastic recreational fisher, encouraged fishers to think about their responsibilities for the ecosystem and future generations.

“It’s a privilege for all of us to have access to one of the world’s most abundant and well managed fisheries,” Mr Heatley said. “With this privilege comes responsibility – know the rules, ask yourself whether you really need all those fish - and return fish to the water in a manner that will ensure their survival.”

The new summer public awareness campaign builds on the success of the 2008 Ministry of Fisheries education programme, “Size does Matter”.

“Size still matters – know the limits for the fish you’re catching – and bag limits are there for a reason,” Mr Heatley said. “This year’s campaign is all about responsible fishing. Every fish that you choose not to take should be safely put back or tagged and released – this will have a big impact on the sustainability of the fishery.

Summer is the time when Fishery Officers see many New Zealanders in their aquatic environment. Fishery Officers and Honorary Fishery Officers are out and about throughout the country helping and supporting the 4 million guardians of our fisheries.

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“I applaud the work of Ministry of Fisheries’ staff at all our favourite fishing spots,” Mr Heatley said. “This government is committed to supporting their efforts as we work together to sustain and enhance our fisheries and ecosystem.”


The Ministry of Fisheries offers these tips to help you make the most of your aquatic experience this summer:
• Fish for a feed, not for the freezer
• Limit your catch - don’t catch your limit.
• Place excess shellfish back into their environment
• Don’t take paua with a sharp implement
• Handle fish with care - don’t put your fingers in their eyes or gills, and if you’re not keeping them return them as quickly as possible
• When it comes to hook sizes, bigger is better
• Make sure you can store fish - don’t waste it

For the latest recreational rules, see

For an image to support the message, see


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