Recre­ational fish­ing park or ma­rine park?

Marlborough Express - - NEWS - OLIVER LEWIS

A Govern­ment pro­posal for a recre­ational fish­ing park in the Marl­bor­ough Sounds will need to in­cor­po­rate wider iwi and com­mu­nity as­pi­ra­tions for the area, the min­is­ter re­spon­si­ble says.

Pri­mary In­dus­tries Min­is­ter Nathan Guy made the com­ment when asked what he thought about the Marl­bor­ough Ma­rine Fu­tures pro­posal to es­tab­lish a ma­rine park in the Marl­bor­ough Sounds.

The group re­cently re­leased a dis­cus­sion doc­u­ment de­tail­ing the pro­posal, based on Aus­tralia’s Great Bar­rier Reef Ma­rine Park, which was met with wide­spread sup­port at a fo­rum in May.

Guy said the Govern­ment’s recre­ational fish­ing park, which was an­nounced last Jan­uary, could in­clude wider pro­pos­als for cus­tom­ary fish­ing, and bal­anc­ing ma­rine pro­tec­tion and use.

‘‘We ex­pect that this will align with many of the as­pi­ra­tions de­scribed in the MMF pro­posal, such as im­prov­ing ma­rine pro­tec­tion and sus­tain­able use, and re­duc­ing con­flicts be­tween users and val­ues within this im­por­tant and busy area,’’ he said.

‘‘We will need to work through these is­sues in de­tail with iwi, com­mu­ni­ties and stake­hold­ers, in or­der to de­velop a more de­tailed pro­posal.’’

Marl­bor­ough Ma­rine Fu­tures co-or­di­na­tor Peter Law­less wel­comed the com­ments as a sign the Govern­ment was willing to lis­ten to com­mu­nity con­cerns about how the Marl­bor­ough Sounds was man­aged.

How­ever, he de­scribed the orig­i­nal pro­posal to ex­clude com­mer­cial fish­ers from the area as a blunt in­stru­ment that did not ad­dress the dif­fer­ent fac­tors that were af­fect­ing the health of the Marl­bor­ough Sounds.

‘‘It doesn’t re­solve the is­sue in a way that will lead to an abun­dance of fish, let alone pro­tec­tion of the ma­rine en­vi­ron­ment,’’ he said.

Law­less said an in­te­grated man­age­ment ap­proach, that took into con­sid­er­a­tion fac­tors rang­ing from land use to fish­ing, needed to be adopted for any plan to pro­tect the area to be ef­fec­tive.

He said the Marl­bor­ough Sounds In­te­grated Man­age­ment Trust, which ran the Marl­bor­ough Ma­rine Fu­tures project, would be de­lighted if the Govern­ment used the ideas put for­ward in the dis­cus­sion doc­u­ment.

The doc­u­ment in­cluded sec­tions on how a ma­rine park would be cre­ated, how it would be man­aged, and how a zon­ing sys­tem based on the Great Bar­rier Reef Ma­rine Park would work.

‘‘What we pro­pose is a mul­ti­pleuse man­age­ment area with a pri­mary con­ser­va­tion pur­pose,’’ the dis­cus­sion pa­per said.

Law­less said new leg­is­la­tion would be needed to cre­ate a mar- ine park in the Marl­bor­ough Sounds, as had al­ready hap­pened in the Hau­raki Gulf, Kaik­oura and Fiord­land.

Al­ter­na­tively, the Govern­ment could in­clude pro­vi­sions in the pro­posed Ma­rine Pro­tected Ar­eas Act - which need to pass into law for the Marl­bor­ough Sounds recre­ational fish­ing park to go ahead - for the es­tab­lish­ment of ma­rine parks, he said.

Law­less said the pro­posal set out in the dis­cus­sion pa­per was meant to en­cour­age con­ver­sa­tion, and help rec­on­cile con­flict­ing points of views to build con­sen­sus among the com­mu­nity about how the Marl­bor­ough Sounds should be man­aged.

‘‘When the lo­cal com­mu­nity and the rel­e­vant stake­hold­ers agree, Govern­ment will im­ple­ment, that’s what has hap­pened in both Kaik­oura and Fiord­land,’’ he said. Marl­bor­ough Ma­rine Fu­tures is hold­ing an­other fo­rum on the pro­posal at Waikawa Boat­ing Club on Sun­day. Reg­is­tra­tions start at 9.30am.

PHOTO: FAIR­FAX NZ

The Govern­ment wants to turn the Marl­bor­ough Sounds into a recre­ational fish­ing park, while Marl­bor­ough Ma­rine Fu­tures wants a ma­rine park for the area.

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