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Commercials threaten licensing of Amateur fishers

Commercial Fishing Sector threaten licensing of Amateur fishers

Outdoor Recreation NZ ( Party)

Media Statement / For immediate release

Date 11th November 2006

New Zealand Herald Journalist Anne Beston reported in the NZ Herald Tuesday 7th November, that the Recreational Fishing lobbyist Option 4, NZ Big Game Fishing Council and NZ Recreational Fishing Council has joined forces with Ngati Ngapuhi to launch a $350,000 court case over Kahawai that was controversially introduced into the 1986 Quota Management System two years ago.

Opposing this, the heavyweight commercial fishing companies have launched a counterclaim because the case will set legal precedents that will threaten their access to the much more lucrative species such as Snapper and Tarakihi, Anne Beston reports.

The suggestion of licensing amateur fishers and amateur fishers being further regulated are being tabled by commercial interest as a form of defense. In the light of this and other arguments put forth by both interests, one cannot help but wonder where, in all of this, does the “Moyle Promise” have its place.

The depletion of fish stocks by commercial interests over the years has resulted in the non commercial sector being heavily regulated against by various methods inclusive of a reduction in bag limits, reduction of long line lengths and hook numbers, reduction of net lengths, net numbers per person and larger mesh sizes as well as larger size of fish that the non commercial person is allowed to keep.

Today, Mr. Owen Symmans from Seafood Industry Council is reported as saying that as the commercial fishing industry is required to report their catch as part of the quota management system, all recreational fishers and Charter Boat Operators should be obliged to do the same. Outdoor Recreation New Zealand would remind Mr. Symmans that it was the commercial fishing interests in the all mighty dollar that has depleted the fish stock and not any remote interest in conserving the remaining supply.

By using the hard working Charter Boat Operators and the Recreational Fishers as whipping boys to high light the lack of information of the amount and species landed by people who want to put food on the table rather than promoting a need for real scientific evidence is a blatant attempt to shift the emphasis away from an industry that has caused the problem in the first instance is a travesty.

Any suggestion or implementation of further regulations inclusive of any form of licensing or registration of non commercial boats will be met with utmost opposition by the Outdoor Recreation New Zealand Party. The party will use every legal method available to contest any additional restrictions placed on the amateur fisher that will constrain the right to catch a fish to put on the family table.

ENDS

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