Minister acknowledges fisheries volunteers
3 December 2010
Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Phil Heatley has today acknowledged the key contribution of Honorary Fishery Officers to the sustainability of New Zealand’s fisheries.
Mr Heatley says it is particularly appropriate to thank fisheries volunteers for their work with World Volunteer Day coming up this weekend (5 December).
"Honorary Fishery Officers are a key part of the Ministry’s work throughout the country," Mr Heatley said.
"Their commitment is admirable. They willingly give up many hours of their spare time to provide a valuable service to protect our fisheries and educate those who enjoy them. They are knowledgeable, professional people who take their fisheries guardianship work very seriously.
"New Zealand’s coastline is very long with many remote areas, so the assistance of volunteers is essential in the protection of fisheries resources," he said.
There are currently more than 200 Honorary Fishery Officers whose work complements that of the 150 warranted Fishery Officers around the country. They are responsible for 40 percent of the contact between the Ministry of Fisheries and recreational fishers.
Mr Heatley says the Government is committed to increasing frontline capacity, especially with the busy summer season coming up.
"The Ministry will soon be deploying a record number of Honorary Fishery Officers, with plans to engage a total of 225 officers by June 2011," he said.
Honorary Fishery Officers are appointed by the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Fisheries. They undertake full training and are expected to be available during weekends to support Fishery Officers. Their backgrounds are varied and an interest in recreational fishing is an obvious advantage. They are initially appointed for three years and can be reappointed.
The Ministry of Fisheries is currently recruiting Honorary Fishery Officers. For information, contact Peter Williams, National Co-ordinator Honorary Fishery Officer Support Services, (07) 571 2824, firstname.lastname@example.org