Marlborough Sounds recreational fishing study results published
29 January 2010
The final report on a study into recreational fishing in the Marlborough Sounds has been published today and gives some interesting insights into the motivations and experiences of people fishing recreationally in the Sounds.
The study is the first of its type to be carried out in New Zealand and profiles the types of people who go fishing in the Sounds, where they stay, the fishing methods they use, the fish they are trying to catch and how successful they are. It also uses the information gathered to come up with new estimates for the number of people fishing in the Sounds each year and the total amount of fish they are catching.
The study was funded by the Ministry of Fisheries and independently carried out by the Cawthron Institute. The results of the study will inform the work currently being done by the Marlborough Sounds Blue Cod Management Group on a management plan for the Marlborough Sounds blue cod fishery.
The study involved a Cawthron Institute researcher approaching fishers out on the water in the Marlborough Sounds, at marinas and at boat ramps over 38 days last summer, collecting details and asking fishers to complete a survey online. A public call for interested people to complete the survey also went out so people who hadn’t encountered the researcher could also take part in the research.
“This is the first study of its kind in New Zealand. It is the first to really focus on fishers and why they go fishing and it draws on some new research methods that have been developed in North America” said Cawthron Institute Resource Economist Chris Batstone. “The study has given some interesting results that I hope will help understand why people go fishing in the Marlborough Sounds, what sort of experience they are looking for and what sort of experience they are having.”
Ministry of Fisheries Inshore Fisheries Manager Leigh Mitchell said “the study results have given some really useful figures and information on recreational fishers we haven’t had before that is going to help inform the long term management of the Marlborough Sounds fisheries.”
Marlborough Sounds Blue Cod Management Group member Eric Jorgensen said “this is a very helpful study in terms of understanding fishers’ attitudes and behaviours towards potential management options and their likely effectiveness at managing the blue cod fishery in the Sounds.”
“It also gives us some real challenges; the study has shown that around 90% of people fishing in the Sounds don’t belong to any fishing club or organisation. We need to find ways of connecting and engaging with these people and ways to get information like the Marlborough Sounds Blue Cod Fishing Code of Practice to them” he said.
The final report on the study is available on the Cawthron Institute website http://www.cawthron.org.nz/
Copies of the Marlborough Sounds Blue Cod Fishing Code of Practice are available on the Ministry of Fisheries website or by contacting the Ministry of Fisheries Nelson Office on (03) 548-1069.