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Hands off our fish

13 August 2013

Hands off our fish

“Proposals to reduce the snapper take for recreational fishermen are self-serving for commercial interests, and won’t solve the problem,” says Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig. “The proposals fail to recognise the self-sufficiency tradition in New Zealand, and that commercial operators are the ones depleting our fishery.”

“Any proposal to reduce the recreational fishing quota, including the suggestion of bringing it down from nine to three in SNA1, is ridiculous. We must retain the status quo,” says Mr Craig.

“Traditionally many New Zealanders put food on their tables by reasonable use of their environment, whether that be by hunting or fishing, and we must not let commercial interests curb the right to provide for ones family.”

“The Government’s first priority must be to everyday New Zealanders. It needs to be remembered that there are costs associated with recreational fishing. To take a boat out, incurring all the costs involved, and to be limited to three fish is simply unreasonable. Fishing is the biggest recreational sport in New Zealand, and we can’t sit back and let commercial interests overtake it.”

“Mr Craig points out that snapper are exported for only $10.22/kg gross. After accounting for costs, wastage, and resource depletion, this is not a high value export industry, and cannot be compared to the positive economic and social value of recreational fishing.”

Our fishery is a natural resource that we must nurture. The Conservative Party suggests practical and significant improvement can be made by sensible changes such as:

1. Outlawing gill netting
2. A commercial exclusion zone (nursery zone)
3. Increasing commercial net size from 25cm to 27cm. It is unclear why commercial interests can use 25cm netting when recreational fishermen are limited to 27cm.

“Given there is no action on these obvious steps towards improving the fishery, I want to ask the question: what’s been agreed in the back room?” says Mr Craig.

“Of course the ordinary New Zealander should win on this one. The sea and its resources are owned by the people of this country. Politicians and greedy commercial interests must keep their hands off.”


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