Log In


Reset Password

Aim is a healthy fishery

Letter

Well Bob, sorry that family members might also pick on you, but we know you mean well.

Catch reductions in our coastal areas, such as for tarakihi and crayfish, have been good for the fishery and I think there will be more good news to come from Minister of Fisheries Stuart Nash.

Some commercial fishers say it was necessary to make cuts to the Quota Management System, although one idiot said I was a “f...... idiot” and that there were more fish in the sea now than ever. I forwarded these defamatory comments to the Minister.

One large commercial operator here in Gisborne is asking for permission to increase their maximum allowable quota. This would be detrimental to other commercial crayfishers who are smaller operations and traditionally fish for a living.

Everybody is telling the Minister “no way”, the rules were made for a good reason.

The NZ Recreational Fishing Council, which I am a board member of, also fights for commercial fishers' rights.

We all want better abundance in the oceans.

Bob, I have a job for you to do, if you don't mind, to help our fisheries.

Last summer I asked an MPI fisheries compliance officer if it was true that this area had never been tackled about trawlers being able to come in closer than in other areas, such as Bay of Plenty or south of here. In other areas trawlers have to keep at least two nautical miles out from any beach or headland. She said she would check for me.

A few days later, back in Taranaki where she is based for compliance, she said I was right: trawlers can come in close just here in Tairawhiti.

The dreaded gill nets that are indiscriminate and wasteful have been off Wainui Beach in the past.

So Bob, go for it and do something about this. I don't mind reading your stories again because it's new stuff, and we really need change.

Alain Jorion

  1. Bob Hughes says:

    I just love the heading here, and am pleased Alain Jorian had no cross words for me, especially after I went so heavy on his passion in my “Fishing contests are cruel blood sport” column.
    I mentioned my Dad was a fisherman, and add that many family and friends are also — it is natural to them. Even the Holy Bible condones dying fish by the netload in the New Testament.
    It’s just me. I just hate the thought of killing anything, especially for fun.
    I am with Alain’s aversion to dreaded gillnets and bottom trawling. Modern commercial fishing methods are indiscriminate and wasteful in the worst way.
    I admire Alain for his concern at falling fish stocks and his efforts to influence and stop commercial fishing abuses.
    Alain, you asked so nicely for me to go for it and do something. You have humbled me.
    To this, I must apologise. Although we are on the same page here, I must say that apart from not eating fish myself, and repeating my plea to go easier on our oceans, I am afraid I won’t be doing much at all.
    But you could be the man for the job, being on the NZ Recreational Fishing Council, with all the recreational fishers behind you and in touch with MPI fisheries compliance officers also. You have the passion needed. Go for it man, prevent those seas from becoming depleted of marine life.

  2. Craig Miller says:

    Re Aim is a healthy fishery.
    Not quite sure that I agree with some of Alain’s comments here. While any catch reduction is always good for any fishery, claiming that recent cuts to the Quota Management System were necessary is questionable. Some of the commercial fishermen I know say that species like tarakihi have never been better and certainly from a recreational point of view I have to agree. Sure, some days you may have to work a little bit harder but by and large if you can’t catch a good feed of tarakihi here you are doing something wrong.
    I also don’t see how a large Gisborne operator seeking an exemption for extra crayfish quota would be detrimental to other commercial crayfishers. These smaller operators are most likely not able to afford the extra quota on offer, but a larger operator buying available quota might just ensure a viable future for the smaller fishing operators. I understand there is already exemptions for two other large fishing companies here – one has a statutory exemption, which I can only guess means they have exemption written into the Fisheries Act meaning that quite possibly they could buy up any extra quota without having to apply for it.
    Alain, this is the first time I have heard you say that as a member of the NZ Recreational Fishing Council (which by all accounts is defunct) your organisation also fights for commercial interests; all I can say is bollocks.
    While there are no trawl restrictions on our coast on how close trawlers can operate, save for the one or two nautical mile restriction around Mahia, I can tell you that the majority of trawl tracks are well outside two nautical miles.
    Another fact you need to know is that gillnetting, when done properly, is no more indiscriminate than any other method. The main target of gillnetting is for lemonfish, which by the way predate on crayfish so surely catching them would be beneficial to the crayfish stocks.
    Lastly, Alain, I suggest you do a little bit more research on just how the commercial sector operates before putting pen to paper as all it does is promote an unhealthy relationship between recreation and commercial. We are all responsible for our fishery and need to work together to ensure we have a healthy fishery.