Lets Put the FISH back into FISHing….
New Zealand is surrounded by ocean, yet in many areas it is getting hard to catch a fish.
Damage to habitat and depletion of our inshore fisheries affects the marine environment and the people who rely on the sea for fishing, for sustenance, leisure or for their livelihoods.
Restoring depleted fish stocks to international best practice standards would mean more fish in the water and a more resilient marine environment.
The Outdoors Party will work with officials and the commercial sector to restore fish abundance so we can all enjoy catching a fish for dinner.
We want to rebuild our fisheries and review the way they are allocated to ensure New Zealanders get fair access to the bounty of our marine environment so we can all enjoy fishing and fish for dinner.
Managing our fisheries towards depletion is having drastic effects on our ocean’s ecosystem. Lets change the short term focus of taking as much as we can to focus on managing for future abundance and sustainability.
For relatively short living fish such as snapper, the best practice standard is at least 40% of the original stock size that existed before fishing. This is commonly referred to as B40. For slower growing species the standard is higher ie. B50 or B60. We want our fisheries to be managed at B40 as a minimum.
The Outdoors Party will work with officials and stakeholder including commercial, customary and recreational sectors to restore abundance to this level. Rebuilding fish stocks requires protection of marine habitats to enhance fish breeding and recruitment and that less fish are killed each year. The upside is that once the target of B40 is reached more fish can be taken.
We need to adopt a modern “ecosystem wide” approach to management to take into account the interdependence of different species, human impacts and the effects of land based activities.. After all, fish don’t live in isolation and neither do we.
The current system of allocating the bulk of many species to commercial operators who lease vessels and export fish overseas for processing, is failing nearly everyone.
Lets give more priority to recreational fishers for the species communities most value. And lets educate our coastal communities to be more mindful about the effect of their activities on the health of the ocean.