Un­lock­ing Auck­land’s fish­ing po­ten­tial

Central Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - JAMES PASLEY

Auck­land’s wa­ter­front needs a San Fran­cisco-like fish­er­man’s wharf, an ex­pert says.

Univer­sity of Auck­land re­search fel­low and fish­eries ex­pert Glenn Simmons said the Auck­land wa­ter­front could be the miss­ing link be­tween the fish­ing in­dus­try and the din­ner plate.

Simmons spoke at a seabird fo­rum called Tak­ing Flight, hosted by the Hau­raki Gulf Ma­rine Park Fo­rum at the Auck­land War Memo­rial Mu­seum last week.

He pro­posed the idea of a ma­jor fish mar­ket wharf af­ter notic­ing the coastal fish­eries sec­tor wasn’t men­tioned in Auck­land Coun­cil’s wa­ter­front re­fresh, which it ap­proved ear­lier this month.

In­stead it fo­cused on re­mov­ing pub­lic park­ing, re­plac­ing Wyn­yard Cross­ing bridge and look­ing into turn­ing Cap­tain Cook Wharf into a cruise ter­mi­nal, sub­ject to ne­go­ti­a­tion with the Ports of Auck­land.

‘‘Where’s the fish­er­man in the story? They should be front and cen­tre of what’s go­ing on in the viaduct,’’ Simmons said.

Ac­cord­ing to Seafood New Zealand the fish­ing in­dus­try har­vested 600,000 tonnes of seafood an­nu­ally, was worth $1.79 bil­lion in ex­ports and em­ployed more than 20,000 peo­ple.

Auck­land’s wa­ter­front is home to fish­ing trawlers and was also a key hub for tourists.

Com­bin­ing fresh fish en­ter­prise into a cen­tral city tourist hub and es­tab­lish­ing a vis­i­ble link be­tween sea, boat and the din­ner plate could be a rev­enue maker for Auck­land and would help boost the in­dus­try, he said.

’’Why is it that I have to drive to Man­gonui to eat fresh fish and chips or go down to Otago to ac­tu­ally eat from a restau­rant where I can see the fish?’’

We need a vi­brant prof­itable in­dus­try and hid­ing them in some re­mote place is crazy, he said.

The only fish mar­ket in down- town San­ford’s Auck­land Fish Mar­ket in Wyn­yard Quar­ter.

Cities like San Fran­cisco had suc­cess­fully made coastal fish­ing sec­tors fo­cal to their har­bours and cities, be­com­ing huge tourist at­trac­tions, Simmons said.

Auck­land Coun­cil con­trolled or­gan­i­sa­tion Panuku De­velop- ment direc­tor of de­sign and place Rod Mar­ler said it was in talks with the fish­ing in­dus­try about fu­ture think­ing for on-wharf fish whole­sale re­tail­ing.

‘‘They are crit­i­cal in pro­vid­ing the au­then­tic gritty ex­pe­ri­ence of the wa­ter­front which is a key com­po­nent of its suc­cess.’’

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