Re­port gives ‘in­ter­est­ing per­spec­tive’ on rivers

Newslink - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - RACHAEL KELLY

En­vi­ron­ment South­land di­rec­tor of science and in­for­ma­tion Gra­ham Se­vicke-Jones said the NZ Fed­er­a­tion of Fresh­wa­ter An­glers’ ‘Lost River’ re­port is ‘‘quite a leap of faith’’ and gives an in­ter­est­ing per­spec­tive on the prov­ince’s wa­ter­ways.

‘‘It gives a use­ful per­spec­tive of one group’s per­cep­tion, but I’m not en­tirely sure about the ac­cu­racy of the in­for­ma­tion. Some of their in­for­ma­tion does not quite match up with ours.

‘‘The change in the an­glers’ per­cep­tion of the fish­ery is rather sim­plis­tic when the prob­lem is more com­plex than that. The re­port doesn’t have any new in­for­ma­tion in it,’’ Se­vicke-Jones told Newslink.

‘‘They have taken a step into say­ing the fish stocks are de­pleted be­cause of A, B or C when it is more com­plex than that.

‘‘They have not said over which time pe­ri­ods their per­cep­tions are from, and there has been a lot of change in many fac­tors, such as land use, for ex­am­ple.

‘‘The cause and ef­fect can be any num­ber of things and I would think that you can’t just blame wa­ter qual­ity.

‘‘That’s not to say there has not been a change in wa­ter qual­ity, but some of the streams they have high­lighted have im­proved, some have stayed con­sis­tent and some have de­graded.

‘‘I would be loathe to go straight into a wa­ter qual­ity dis­cus­sion - it’s big­ger than that.

‘‘When you deal with any change, there are flow on ef­fects that need to be ad­dressed as well.’’

He said less an­gler ef­fort on some wa­ter­ways could be due to ac­cess is­sues, as an ex­am­ple.

He said some fish­eries used to be stocked reg­u­larly and be­cause they were not now, there would ob­vi­ously be a per­cep­tion that the fish­ery had de­te­ri­o­rated be­cause it had to be self-sus­tain­ing.

‘‘That may have had an im­pact, but we have not done an anal­y­sis on that so we do not know.’’

Se­vicke-Jones was also scep­ti­cal of the tim­ing of the re­port’s re­lease, just be­fore a gen­eral elec­tion, and was crit­i­cal of the use of a skull and cross­bones the NZFFA had used to high­light wa­ter­ways with de­pleted fish stocks.

‘‘They’ve taken an emo­tive ap­proach, but they have raised aware­ness of the prob­lem which can be a good thing.’’

An­gler days have dropped on the Oreti River, the NZFFA re­port into ‘Lost Rivers’ says.

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