Recreational fishing discussion document released
21 July 2000
New Zealanders are getting a new opportunity to have their say on how recreational fishing should be managed, says Minister of Fisheries Pete Hodgson.
Mr Hodgson released today a discussion document on options for the future management of recreational fishing. The document, "Soundings", has been prepared by a joint working group of New Zealand Recreational Fishing Council representatives and Ministry of Fisheries officials.
The joint working group will manage a public consultation process, with public meetings and hui later this year and submissions closing in November.
Mr Hodgson said the Government should be ready to take policy decisions in about March next year.
"We can't go on taking recreational fishing rights for granted," Mr Hodgson said in a speech to the Recreational Fishing Council annual conference in Nelson today. "Recreational rights are under pressure now or will become so in the future. It's time to figure out how we want to define them and protect them."
To begin a debate, the discussion document offers three options for defining the recreational share of the fishery:
- a discretionary share, determined and reviewed by the Minister;
- a proportional share, fixing a percentage balance between the commercial and recreational share after allowing for Maori customary access;
- a proportional share with formal recreational management rights held by mandated recreational fishing groups.
Mr Hodgson said he had agreed to the joint working group putting up a wide range of options for debate, even though some might conflict with Government views.
"We want the fishing public's views on all matters, and this is the way to get them."