Ministry of Fisheries plans major operation in Hauraki Gulf on Labour Weekend
18 October 2004
The Ministry of Fisheries has announced that they will be mounting a major operation throughout the Hauraki Gulf this Labour Weekend.
The operation, aimed at ensuring compliance of fisheries rules and regulations, will be based both on land and at sea and will cover an area from Kawau Island across to the top of the Coromandel Peninsula.
District Compliance Manager, Matt Cowan says those going fishing in the Hauraki Gulf during Labour Weekend should expect to be checked by fishery officers "at least once."
"We will have 7 fishery vessels on the water and over 40 fishery officers involved throughout the weekend," he says.
Matt Cowan says the major operation is the start off the Ministry's summer campaign and will be followed by similar operations throughout the season.
"We know that 90% of those who go fishing keep to the rules and want to play their part in ensuring a sustainable fishery in the Hauraki Gulf," he says. "However the remaining few simply do not seem interested in sticking to the rules and we will be there to deal with them."
He says the Ministry will also be encouraging those who see others flagrantly breaking the rules to contact them on VHF channel 88 or by phoning (0274)….
"We often get calls from fishers who see the boat next to them keeping way too many fish or keeping fish that are obviously undersized. While we act as quickly as possible, we are not always able to get there in time. However, this Labour Weekend we will be in a position to respond very quickly and are therefore actively encouraging people to contact us as soon as they see any wrong-doing.
"After all, both the Ministry and the vast majority of fishers have the same aim ¾ a sustainable fishery for ourselves and for future generations."
Matt Cowan says education will also play a big part in the Labour Weekend campaign with all officers and all vessels carrying pamphlets and posters outlining the rules and offering official stick-on measuring rulers for those who need them.
The Ministry will also be promoting their new Junior Fishery Officer programme throughout the weekend.
"This new initiative encourages all members of the family to understand the fishing rules by 'appointing' younger members of the crew to be Junior Fishery Officers," says Matt Cowan.
"These Junior Fishery Officers are then 'responsible' for monitoring the fish caught on the boat, making sure they are all of legal size and that no more than the daily legal limit are kept."
The operation will run throughout the long weekend and will also regularly involve the region's harbour police.