Seafood New Zealand Friday Update 18 March 2016



Friday Update is Seafood New Zealand's weekly email from our Chief Executive.

Captain's Blog


March 18, 2016 



Fishing families cast aside for recreational fishing parks

Recreational fishing parks are about catching fish, not about protecting the marine environment.
 That is the view of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Jan Wright, in her office’s submission on the proposed Marine Protected Areas legislation.
 Dr Wright and her team consulted widely with all stakeholders in preparing a response to the Government’s discussion paper. The proposal includes provision for recreational fishing parks in the Hauraki Gulf and the  Marlborough Sounds that would ban commercial fishing.
 Dr Wright warned that recreational bag limits may need to be reduced and/or size restrictions tightened in the Gulf given Auckland’s rapid population increase and the “tens of thousands of boats” that fish there already.
 The significant submission from Parliament’s environmental watchdog is a rebuke to the Government over its handling of marine protection. 
 But it has been ignored by mainstream media and has received little or no publicity.
 “Recreational fishing parks will need to be managed to ensure sustainability of the fishery,” Dr Wright said.
 “If it (the Gulf) is made into a recreational fishing park, action will almost certainly need to be taken at times to ensure there are fish to catch in the future.
 “It is easier to police a few commercial operators than many recreational fishers. But the difficulty of policing many recreational fishers is not a new problem.
 “The discussion paper envisages an advisory body for each recreational fishing park. I hope that the sense of ownership that would come with a recreational fishing park will lead to a greater sense of responsibility among recreational fishers.
 “My bigger concern is the intent to create the Hauraki Gulf and Marlborough Sounds recreational fishing parks under the proposed law without going through the process that would be established in that law. Recreational fishing parks are more likely to be successful and to integrate better with other marine protected areas if designed in a collaborative way, rather than by the stroke of a pen in an Act.
 “Both proposed fishing parks cover large areas. At a minimum, consideration should be given to establishing some no take marine reserves and customary reserves in these areas. More work is needed to integrate the two proposed parks with other marine protection initiatives, in particular with the Hauraki Gulf Marine Spatial Plan.”
 Dr Wright recommended a representative and integrated network of MPAs be created in collaboration with stakeholders.
 She was critical of the new Act being restricted to the territorial sea.
MPAs in the 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone, such as the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary, must have their own enabling legislation.
 “Enacting one-at-a-time ad hoc legislation is not the way to ensure the development of a representative integrated network of MPAs,” Dr Wright said.
 Environmental groups and fishing companies and organisations have also found common cause in describing the MPA consultation document as deeply flawed.
 They are critical of an ad hoc approach that falsely presents fishing parks as a sustainability measure, the lack of monitoring of the recreational catch and the exclusion of the EEZ from marine protection.
 Recreational lobby group LegaSea also gives the lie to the simplistic response that only the commercial sector is opposed to recreational fishing parks.
 On Feb 26 LegaSea posted the question on its Facebook page: Is banning all commercial fishing in the inner Gulf as part of the new MPA going to achieve abundance?
 It answered: There are small, commercial family operations that supply the local market and do little damage to the fishery. Overall these guys tend to do a good job. It is the mobile bulk harvesting methods such as trawling and Danish seining that are damaging and reduce productivity. These methods are already banned from the inner Gulf so why throw a few small-scale operators under the bus for so little benefit?
 Why indeed?
 Aside from all the submissions and meetings and “consultations” and policy documents, the waffle and the blather, the reality is a Government supposedly committed to private enterprise is set on a course to drive long established, hardworking fishing families out of business. 
 Craig Aston, a fourth generation fisherman based at D’Urville Island, is one of those likely to be cast aside.
 He nets butterfish and pots for cod on the sheltered eastern side of the island and will be barred from doing so under the proposed Act.
 He has a small amount of quota but depends on leased Annual Catch Entitlement (ACE) to cover his fish catch.
Craig and all others relying on ACE will receive no compensation.
 “We cannot understand how a recreational fishing park can be included under marine protected areas,” Craig wrote in his submission to Ministers Nathan Guy (Primary Industries), Nick Smith (Environment) and Maggie Barry (Conservation).
 “I had heard at a meeting, Minister Smith saying that recreational parks are defined as being a marine protected area under the International Union for Conservation of Nature. When I looked at their website and their wording, I found Minister Smith was not correct. Recreational parks are not marine protected areas and therefore should not be part of the consultation document.
 “The proposed area for the recreational fishing park will, in effect, finish us as a fishing family.”
 Is that the legacy this Government wants?

- Tim Pankhurst



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In the Media




Sanford earns BAP certification for salmon, mussels

Undercurrent News and Intrafish (March 17) reported on the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) awarding its Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification to Sanford’s production of King Salmon and Greenshell mussels, which are grown in Big Glory Bay and Stewart Island. BAP certification reinforces the company’s commitment to best practices in farming and fishing methods in the seafood industry, Sanford CEO Volker Kuntzsch said. Click links below to read more.
Undercurrent News 



Government to consider Kermadecs compensation for iwi

Newshub (March 17) reported on the Government buckling to pressure and considering compensation for iwi affected by the proposed Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary. A Bill to establish the sanctuary unanimously passed its first reading in Parliament this week, but a number of iwi are angry about the lack of consultation. The Maori Party has met with Environment Minister Nick Smith, who agreed to talks with iwi on compensation in return for the Maori Party supporting the Bill. Read more




NZ Rock Lobster director Larnce Wichman


Recreational fishing park will create conflict in other areas 

Stuff (March 17) reported on the Cramac5 commercial fishing stakeholders group saying the proposed Marine Protection Areas Act had been hastily conceived and included little structure on how the proposals would work. New Zealand Rock Lobster director Larnce Wichman‚Äč said a submission had been presented on behalf of the Cramac5 commercial fishing stakeholders group. The group believed the proposed changes would create over-fishing and unnecessary conflict among commercial fishermen, Wichman said. "The process should have been developed over one to two years, instead it is being pushed forward for political motives to be completed by late 2017 before the next election," he said. Read more




Wild Places - EDS Conference 2016

The Environmental Defence Society's 2016 conference will explore New Zealand’s Wild Places and assess both emerging threats and exciting new opportunities. It will draw on insights from international and local experience, case studies and workshops. It will look creatively at the development of powerful new synergies between conservation and tourism and will explore novel management and funding initiatives. 
August 10-11 2016.
Viaduct Events Centre, Auckland.

Click this conference website link for more information.



Upcoming Events



Saturday, March 19

The Havelock Mussel & Seafood Festival will begin 10am tomorrow at the Havelock Domain. There are special Abel Tasman Coachlines buses available from Nelson to get to Havelock. Bus tickets must be pre-booked online. Click button below. Festival ticket holders get free entry into the New Zealand King Salmon cooking marquee! 
Tomorrow, March 19, 10am at the Havelock Domain.




March 24
Curious about environmental changes in Picton and Queen Charlotte Sound?

Dr Emma Newcombe of the Cawthron Institute will talk about her research on the environmental state of the Picton bays and Queen Charlotte Sound. 
Dr Sean Handley of NIWA will also discuss his recent exploration of how seabed ecosystems have changed since human settlement in Totaranui/Queen Charlotte Sound. Tea and coffee provided.
For more information or to RSVP please contact Dr Steve Urlich, Coastal Scientist, Marlborough District Council at or 03 520 7560. At the Picton Yacht Club Hotel on Thursday, March 24 at 7pm.