January 12, 2016
Fishing park plan in political hot spot
Iwi will be pushing for compensation if a plan for an overhaul of the marine reserve system comes off.
Environment Minister Nick Smith wants to turn the two most politically sensitive fisheries, Hauraki Gulf and the Marlborough Sounds, into recreational fishing parks where commercial fishing is banned.
Those are the areas where recreational fishing, including charters, is most intense.
The Government is indicating it could set aside up to $20 million to compensate commercial quota holders, on a case by case basis.
Caught up in the ban will be snapper, kahawai, john dory, gurnard, tarakihi, trevally, scallops, and possibly flatfish, and blue cod in the Sounds.
Dr Smith says it will affect 870 tonnes a year of commercial catch in the proposed Hauraki Park and 139 tonnes a year in the proposed Marlborough Sounds Park.
The Government says the existing system is no longer fit for purpose, and the new proposals provide a better and more flexible process for establishing and managing marine reserves.
Maori have in the past complained that arbitrary changes to the fisheries regime can result in a claw back of a treaty settlement.
There has so far been no formal consultation with iwi or Te Ohu Kaimoana on the plan.
Submissions close on March 11
Copyright © 2016, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com