RECREATIONAL FISHING PARKS A SOP TO COMMERCIAL FISHERS

The Government’s consultation document on marine and recreational fishing
parks has drawn fire from the Outdoors Party. They say it will have
negligible impact on recreational sea fishing and shows how little those
politicians who support it understand fishing and the outdoors. “Sediment
and pollution from aquaculture, forestry run off, changes to estuarine
morphology from reduced river flows and ploughing up the seabed with scallop
dredgers and trawl nets are all factors in why our recreational fisheries
are going down the gurgler.” Said David Haynes, spokesperson for the
Outdoors Party”.

“Given the catastrophic decline of the Tasman and Golden Bay scallop beds,
you have to wonder why this Government proposes continuing to allow the
destructive practice of scallop dredging in the Marlborough recreational
fishing park”, said Haynes. “Research in the Sounds has revealed 30 years
of seabed decline as a result of sediment and seabed disturbance, 71% of
that in the last four years alone. Aquaculture is also a known source of
sediment from faecal matter and fish food waste and yet this will also be
allowed to continue in the Sounds fishing park”.

Haynes continued “But the single biggest spoiler to recreational sea fishing
nationally is declining fish stocks and a Quota Management System that
rewards waste and results in hundreds of tonnes of fish being killed and
dumped overboard. Rather than deal with this issue the Government would
rather ‘tinker with tinsel’.”

The Outdoors Party said that fish migrate large distances, especially during
spawning, so simply marking off a small piece of sea as a recreational
fishing park would not stop these fish being commercially harvested
elsewhere.

Given that, by the Government’s own admission, so little commercial fin
fishing occurs in the inner Hauraki Gulf, designating this a recreational
fishing area will have no impact on fish stocks according to Haynes and once
again he re-iterated that “The issues for thousands of inner Hauraki Gulf
sea fishers is the preferential rules for the commercial trawlers over
recreational sector.” Recreational fishers suffered a reduced snapper bag
limit and an increase in minimum size in 2014 whilst the commercial sector’s
take remained unchanged.

“The concerns of over a million recreational saltwater anglers and a billion
dollar plus recreational fishing economy once again seems to comes second to
a handful of powerful corporate fishing enterprises.” Haynes said.

David Haynes
Outdoors Party Spokesperson
www.outdoorsparty.co.nz

Phone: 03 546 6051
Email: david@solumconsulting.co.nz