Ac­tion needed in gulf

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - JAMES PASLEY

The Gov­ern­ment has not been mak­ing the changes needed to in­tro­duce recre­ational fish­ing parks to the Hau­raki Gulf, the Hau­raki Gulf Fo­rum says.

Re-elected Hau­raki Gulf Fo­rum chair­man John Tregidga said the Hau­raki Gulf’s wa­ter qual­ity was de­te­ri­o­rat­ing and fish num­bers were de­clin­ing.

Es­tab­lished in 2000 un­der the Hau­raki Gulf Ma­rine Park Act, the Hau­raki Gulf Fo­rum is an Auck­land Coun­cil or­gan­i­sa­tion that pro­motes en­hance­ment and pro­tec­tion for the Hau­raki Gulf.

In Jan­uary 2016 the gov­ern­ment an­nounced plans un­der the Ma­rine Pro­tected Ar­eas Act to cre­ate recre­ational fish­ing parks in the in­ner Hau­raki Gulf and the Marl­bor­ough Sounds, and com­pen­sate com­mer­cial fish­ers for the loss of their catch in those ar­eas.

A Hau­raki Gulf recre­ational fish­ing park would ban com­mer­cial fish­ing from Leigh to Coro­man­del Town, ex­tend­ing out for 12 nau­ti­cal miles.

But both the fo­rum and the Gov­ern­ment had been slow on es­tab­lish­ing recre­ational fish­ing parks in the area, he said.

‘‘We haven’t been mak­ing the nec­es­sary changes and im­prove­ments in the Hau­raki Gulf,’’ Tregidga said.

The pub­lic were ner­vous of the Ma­rine Pro­tected Ar­eas Act but it needed to hap­pen, Tregidga said.

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