Salmon and trout not the rea­son for na­tive fish’s de­cline

Hawke's Bay Today - - Opinion -

Is this a move by the Gov­ern­ment to pri­va­tise fresh wa­ter fish­ing?

The Green Party is propos­ing a change to the fresh wa­ter fish­ing reg­u­la­tion that may lead to the pri­vati­sa­tion of fresh wa­ter fish­ing, where con­trol of the fish­ery is re­moved from Fish & Game and passed to DoC and lo­cal iwi un­der Treaty of Wai­tangi set­tle­ments.

This is un­der the guise of im­proved pro­tec­tion to na­tive fish, i.e. “let’s blame the trout and salmon for the wide­spread de­cline of na­tive fish species”.

Ma­ture salmon and sea trout re­turn­ing to spawn do not feed in fresh wa­ter.

They are not the dom­i­nant cause of the de­cline in na­tive fish.

In the Tuk­i­tuki River I no­ticed a big drop in na­tive fish num­bers in the late 1980s.

Salmon and trout have been in New Zealand rivers for well over 100 years.

The de­cline in all fish started with the ad­vent of in­ten­sive dairy farm­ing, pos­si­ble wide­spread use of ni­trate fer­tiliser and the prac­tice of some farm­ers of spread­ing the cow shed slurry back on the pad­dock.

I’m aware there is lit­tle sci­en­tific study of this mat­ter.

The in­ten­sive river beach rak­ing by the Hawke’s Bay Re­gional Coun­cil was iden­ti­fied by Fish & Game 20 years ago as a ma­jor threat to the Hawke’s Bay fish habi­tat. The Cawthron In­sti­tute iden­ti­fied seven na­tive fish species in de­cline in the Hawke’s Bay area (Cawthron Re­port 2968 page 7. By Robin Holmes).

Sec­tion 17 of the amend­ment if passed in its present form could lead to the pri­vati­sa­tion of fresh wa­ter fish­ing.

This could lead to the av­er­age New Zealan­der be­ing de­nied the right to fish for salmon or trout, as iwi would have full con­trol of the fish­ery.

What’s next?

As this has been done with no con­sul­ta­tion with Fish & Game or any an­gling clubs, we now see the white­bait fish­ery and the thar hunt­ing may be un­der threat too.

Is the New Zealand pub­lic right to the sea fish­ing next un­der threat? F Ni­chol Waipuku­rau

Com­mon sense

The com­mon sense so­lu­tion pro­posed for fund­ing any port devel­op­ment, as pro­posed by John Smith (let­ters — Hawke’s Bay To­day, Oc­to­ber 11), has clearly worked well in the past.

Why are our na­tion’s lead­ers ig­nor­ing this prac­ti­cal op­tion? Fred Robin­son Napier

Game of Cones

I quote from the fi­nal para­graphs of yes­ter­day’s ar­ti­cle about the Prime Min­is­ter’s speech re­gard­ing petrol prices.

“Ardern said that the Gov­ern­ment’s ex­er­cise tax has been just a small part of the petrol price in­crease.

“Even if we did re­move ex­er­cise taxes I can­not guar­an­tee . . . ”

Surely the Gov­ern­ment is not ad­vo­cat­ing a charge on peo­ple get­ting out of their cars and on their bikes, or stop­ping go­ing to gyms and swim­ming pools!

I pre­sume it’s an­other ex­am­ple of ei­ther poor spelling or poor proof read­ing.

On the sub­ject of ex­er­cise; for months we have had a “Game of Cones” along the sec­tion of Kennedy Rd where a new and pre­sum­ably ex­per­i­men­tal cy­cle path is be­ing laid.

It is months since this was started and the new foot­path laid, and ev­ery night some­one pushes all the cones over and next morn­ing they are all stand­ing up again. I un­der­stand this path was a botched job and will be fin­ished in a few weeks. Mean­time some­one, maybe a mis­chievous grem­lin, is hav­ing fun, and a “cone picker-up­per” from the coun­cil has to get up early. B.H. Smith Napier

Is the New Zealand pub­lic’s right to fish­ing un­der threat, asks a reader.

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