Summer fisheries programme a success
19 March 2010
A summer programme designed to encourage responsible behaviour in New Zealand fisheries is proving to be a great success, says Acting Fisheries Minister David Carter.
The Ministry of Fisheries’ “Every Fish Counts” campaign was launched in December to promote the idea of “4 million guardians” of our unique ecosystem.
“All the statistics point to the campaign having had a big impact,” says Mr Carter. “We have access to one of the world’s most abundant and well managed fisheries and it’s great to see most Kiwis respecting this.”
Increased awareness of fishing rules and less tolerance of the few who flout them was illustrated by record numbers of calls to the 0800 4 POACHER hotline. Some of these led directly to fisheries thieves being caught red-handed. There were 667 calls to the hotline in February, a 20 percent increase on February last year, and well over 2,000 calls in the December to February period.
The number of inspections of recreational fishers carried out nationally from December to February came in at 14,239, a 12 percent increase on the same period in 2008-09. This showed a compliance rate of 93 per cent, with Northland, North Shore, Waikato/Bay of Plenty/Coromandel, Canterbury/Westland and Otago exceeding this compliance rate average.
In our commercial fisheries, Opotiki and the Chatham Islands achieved a 100 percent compliance rate, and the Canterbury/Westland region as a whole 99 percent.
Mr Carter says educational and promotional contacts with the public have almost doubled in the last four years.
“I applaud the efforts of vigilant members of the public and the work of Fishery Officers and Honorary Fishery Officers at our favourite fishing spots. The Government is committed to ongoing support of their efforts, with more staff out and about over the next two years.”
For the latest recreational rules, see www.fish.govt.nz/en-nz/Recreational/default.htm