August 13, 2013
Snapper cut plan shows big firm bias
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy is being accused of bias towards the big companies in his management of the northern snapper fishery.
Labour’s fisheries spokesperson David Cunliffe expects Mr Guy will now backtrack on a plan to get the total catch down by either cutting recreational bag limits from nine to three fish a day or raising the minimum size to 35 centimetres.
That’s because he rushed ahead without clearing the discussion paper with Cabinet, and constituents are now venting their feelings to electorate MPs.
Mr Cunliffe says the alternative may not be any better, because the snapper cuts were consistent with National’s approach.
"They’re protecting the big guys. The commercial take, they can take snapper at 25 centimetres and they’re not proposing any cuts to the commercial quotas. I just think they’re for big business and not for our whānau and lord knows it’s hard enough to put food on the table for our people at the moment," he says.
Mr Cunliffe says changes are needed to protect and improve the fishery, but they need to be shared equally.
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