January 15, 2016
Count call for recreational charters
The new chair of Te Ohu Kaimoana, the Maori fisheries settlement trust, says it’s time to start counting how much fish is caught off recreational charter boats.
Te Ohu Kaimoana is opposing the Government’s plan to introduce a new system for marine reserves, including turning the inner Hauraki Gulf and Marlborough Sounds into “recreational fishing parks”.
Jamie Tuuta says by excluding commercial fishing the policy takes away rights recognised under the Maori fisheries settlement.
He says the way it has been announced flouts one of the promises of the settlement, that government would work constructively with Maori to develop any new fisheries policies.
He says Maori would support moves to promote sustainability, but the policy is an arbitrary reallocation of the existing resource.
Mr Tuuta says recreational fishers don’t report catches, and that includes charter boats, even though they are acting as commercial ventures and potentially taking out large volumes of fish.
“There is no control over how much fish is caught in those areas by the recreational guys,” he says.
He says cameras are now being installed on the country’s commercial fishing fleet, and they should also be put on commercial charters.
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