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Public pressure can force snapper flip-flop

David Shearer
Labour Leader

19 August 2013

Public pressure can force snapper flip-flop

The government must abandon its plans to reduce recreational snapper catch limits, while leaving commercial catches unchanged, Labour Leader David Shearer says.

“Catching a feed of snapper for the family is a Kiwi birth right. The Government has sided with big commercial interests over the rights of every New Zealander to go out and fish. It has badly under estimated how strongly people feel about their fishing.

“Everyone agrees we need to ensure snapper stocks are sustainable, but if catches need to be reduced to protect the fishery commercial operators should share the pain.

“This is a basic issue of fairness. As a weekend fisherman myself, I don’t see why recreational fishers should bear the brunt of catch reductions.

“Feelings are running high at public meetings we have attended on the issue. And if the government is getting anything like the same feedback as the Labour Party, it will be throwing its proposals overboard. We certainly will if they are in place when we come into office.

“We’ve received about 30,000 emails about the issue and already have more than 7,500 names on our petition against the changes.

“This week is the last chance for public submissions on the proposed new rules for the snapper fishery covering the top half of the east coast of the North Island. I urge people to make their voices heard.

“Make no mistake – the public backlash can force John Key and his ministers to listen. It is not too late to make National treat recreational fishers fairly,” says David Shearer.

ENDS

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