RECREATIONAL FISHING PARKS
PROPOSED IN HAURAKI GULF AND MARLBOROUGH SOUNDS
The Government has launched a consultation document on a new Marine Protected Areas Act to replace the Marine Reserves Act 1971 that includes proposals for recreational fishing parks in the inner Hauraki Gulf and Marlborough Sounds.
“We are proposing a new system of marine protection that will include marine reserves, species-specific sanctuaries, seabed reserves, and recreational fishing parks. This more sophisticated approach with four different types of marine protection is similar to the graduated approach we take to reserves on land that vary from strict nature reserves to those for a specific or recreational purpose,” says Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith.
“The new recreational fishing parks in the Hauraki Gulf and Marlborough Sounds enhance the recreational experience in these areas. There is currently an estimated 870 tonne per year of commercial catch in the proposed Hauraki Park and 139 tonne per year in the proposed Marlborough Sounds Park that would be discontinued within the park boundaries,” says Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.
However not everyone is in agreement on the proposal’s benefits to New Zealand’s marine environment. Scott Macindoe of recreational fishing lobby group Legasea sees a number of fishhooks in the proposals.
“We welcome the discussion around restoring abundance to our inshore fisheries. However, simply shifting a bit of commercial fishing further out without actually reducing the amount of fish we kill is not going to achieve much.”
Scott went on to say “we are also concerned about the introduction of compensation to relocating commercial operators. This has the potential to make future changes to how we manage inshore fisheries unaffordable – just one more obstacle to unlocking real value”
With arguments already firing up online over the proposals, it must be remembered that this is a discussion document. To read the document and to have your say go to http://www.mfe. govt.nz/consultation/mpa, and see the list of all public hui and engagement events. Submissions close on March 11.
Proposed boundaries for recreational fishing parks in the Hauraki Gulf (left) and Malborough Sounds (right).