July 31, 2013
Snapper plan recipe for conflict
A former associate fisheries minister says a proposed three fish a day recreational bag limit for snapper in the northern North Island is unfair and unworkable.
Dover Samuels, who was a commercial fisher before entering parliament, says the plan is the latest move in a long-running war between recreational, commercial and customary fishers, and shows the influence of the commercial sector of the current government.
He says while fishing is an important export industry, recreational fishing is a New Zealand birthright.
"What’s going to happen is I hope they are going to employ more fisheries officers because there is going to be a huge amount of prosecutions. It’s not even worth putting fuel in the tank, not even worth buying a fishing rod if you are going to go out and your bag limit is three fish. Can you really imagine the impact of that legislation on our whānau, traditional Māori fishers who have gone out and got a feed for their family. One of my whānaunga would eat three fish in one meal," Mr Samuels says.
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