Real progress for shared fisheries
19 November 2007
Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton said today that he was pleased to announce proposals to advance the management of shared fisheries.
“Recent decisions taken by Cabinet will enable real progress to be made on a number of issues that have frustrated the management of shared fisheries for some time.
“There is broad support for change in the way we manage our shared fisheries. Most people agree we need to know more about how many fish amateur fishers are catching, and that amateur fishers need to be better represented,” Jim Anderton said.
Jim Anderton announced his intention to consult with recreational fishing charter boat operators on the introduction of activity and catch reporting. “This is an important and expanding sector with currently unknown, but potentially significant, local and stock-wide impact on fisheries. We need to work more closely with operators to better understand what impact their activities are having.”
Jim Anderton also announced his support for a joint fisheries sector working group that has offered to develop joint policy proposals on shared fisheries. Te Ohu Kaimoana, the Seafood Industry Council and the New Zealand Recreational Fishing Council will work together to provide advice on a number of agreed issues.
“The group’s commitment to work together is a positive step,” Jim Anderton said. “This provides a significant opportunity for stakeholders to demonstrate how they can work cooperatively on issues of common interest. To get the best value from our shared fisheries for all New Zealanders, we need constructive engagement with all the fishing sector groups working together.”
Jim Anderton has agreed to provide some funding to support this work and the group is expected to provide its recommendations in April next year.
“In the context of Budget 2008 the Government will be considering increased funding to expand scientific research to better estimate amateur fishers’ catch in key stocks. The focus of this consideration will be on gaps in our current knowledge about key fish stocks where information is important to both stock assessment and to the allocation of catch between sectors. The establishment of an amateur fishing trust, to improve the representation and participation of amateur interests in fisheries management in the long term, will also be considered.”
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