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Fisheries policy analysis produces surprising results

Fisheries policy analysis produces surprising results

Nine political party policies were analysed to determine which party had the most public friendly fisheries policy and the results surprised LegaSea, an apolitical fisheries lobby group.

“For the first time, recreational fishers have been offered clear, concise and unbiased information about how each party intends to manage fisheries, if elected,” advised Adam El-Agez, campaign co-ordinator for LegaSea.

A 2013 Horizon Research poll revealed that 5.8% of adults who fish in the sea, equivalent to about 185,484 people, say fisheries policy will definitely help determine who they cast their party vote for at this election.

United Future is leading the pack, with New Zealand First and the Green Party close on their heels. Not far behind is FOCUS New Zealand and Labour.

LegaSea scored the parties according to 5 principles and offered bonus points for any innovative ideas.

“The analysis clearly shows which parties are serious about rebuilding out fisheries, reducing waste and protecting public access to them. It also clearly shows which parties don’t view these issues as important,” says LegaSea spokesperson, Richard Baker.

LegaSea acknowledges the recent announcement that National will, if re-elected, consult on recreational only fishing zones in the Hauraki Gulf and Marlborough Sounds. This was a clear signal that our politicians are now more aware of the importance of enabling people to catch a feed of fish and for the public to enjoy the marine environment.

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“National scored poorly despite what on the surface seems like an initiative to benefit recreational fishers. They fail to address most of the core principles LegaSea promotes whilst making every effort to make things seem better than they are” says Mr Baker.

With the government making further cuts to the public’s daily bag limit for snapper in the north, the ongoing debacle around blue cod in the Marlborough Sounds and the shocking waste from commercial trawling being exposed over the past year, many people have adopted a position of enough is enough.

LegaSea’s Tip the Scales campaign has clearly struck a chord with the public. More than 17,000 people have signed up to encourage political parties to follow the 5 principles designed to promote sustainable and well managed fisheries that provide abundance for current and future generations of Kiwis.

The 5 LegaSea principles were provided to the political parties in June. The LegaSea team has made a detailed analysis of the parties’ responses. The political policy scorecard and full analysis can be found at www.legasea.co.nz/tipthescales/political-scorecard

LegaSea does not support any particular political party. The analysis is to help people as they consider their party vote. LegaSea will work with the successful government to achieve what are seen as common sense outcomes for fisheries and the public.

Ends

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