April 22, 2013
Public reacts to paua grab
There's been a strong grassroots rejection down south of a proposal to open up reserves around the Otago and Southland coast to commercial paua harvest.
The new Paua to the People group last week presented a petition against the plan to the Ministry for Primary Industry.
Member and former All Black Kees Meeuws says the ministry was trying to slip the plan through with other changes.
He says the public isn't buying the argument from commercial divers that the change won't affect the overall sustainability of the fishery.
“Obviously their stocks aren’t as high as what they would like them to be. If they open up these closed areas, which people haven’t been into for over 20 years, they will get an easy and quick pay day. We said ‘enough is enough. You guys have pillaged from the sea for long enough, it’s time that we make a stand and protest what’s in our backyard’. Once it’s gone it won’t recover,” he says.
Kees Meeuws says iwi and the general public are united on pushing back the commercial divers.
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