New Zealand Fishing World - - Fishy News & Events -

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.­sul­ta­tion/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).

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