Ministry thanks all our fisheries guardians
7 January 2010
The Ministry of Fisheries greatly appreciates the high level of community support for its efforts to preserve New Zealand’s fisheries this summer.
“The response to our work on the ground has been tremendous,” said Andrew Coleman, the Ministry’s Deputy Chief Executive Field Operations. “The outrage that responsible people all round the country have voiced against the fish thieves – especially the big paua poachers in Taranaki, Maketu and Timaru recently – has been very heartening and has helped us enormously.”
Talkback radio, direct feedback to the Ministry and newspaper editorial pages full of support have been examples of the strong reactions from many sections of the community.
“Last month we launched the ‘Every Fish Counts’ summer awareness campaign highlighting the idea that each and every one of us is a guardian of our precious fisheries,” Mr Coleman said. “The vigilance people have shown indicates how well the public have been picking up the message and putting it into action. Most fishers are thinking about their responsibilities for the ecosystem and future generations.”
This summer Fishery Officers and Honorary Fishery Officers are out and about throughout the country helping and supporting the 4 million guardians of our fisheries. “We can’t do it all on our own – we rely on the public to keep their eyes open to suspicious behaviour and I encourage you to call 0800 4 POACHER any time,” Mr Coleman said. The apprehension of the Taranaki thieves came about directly from a call made by a member of the public to the 0800 4 POACHER line.
One of the tips from the Every Fish Counts campaign is to place excess shellfish back in their environment. “It was great to see that the poached Taranaki paua were recovered early enough to ensure their safe return to the sea. I encourage all responsible fishers to do the same,” Mr Coleman said.
For the latest recreational fishing rules, see www.fish.govt.nz/en-nz/Recreational/default.htm
For the original release on the summer campaign by Fisheries Minister Phil Heatley, see