Protecting fish and fishers
Re: A few fishy tales there, February 5 letter.
We remain amazed to see a letter to your respected paper from Craig Miller blatantly misrepresenting the facts on various fisheries matters.
For the record:
The Minister of Fisheries Stuart Nash cut the tarakihi TACC by 20 percent in 2018 and a further 10 percent last year. Mr Nash said “the 10 percent additional cut for tarakihi is supported by scientific evidence that the abundance of tarakihi in the east coast is and remains very low”.
Mr Miller goes on to support larger companies increasing their quota shares in rock lobster above set levels.
After observing how the majority of the finfish quota was able to be transitioned into the exclusive ownership of virtually nine companies after the introduction of the QMS system in 1986, the rock lobster industry and this council were concerned that we could see a repeat of this practice that would further reduce quota ownership in our small coastal ports.
The aggregation and accumulation of the finfish quota into the hands of corporates and banks effectively destroyed many small coastal fishing communities who relied on fishing as part of the local economy.
Which is why the 10 percent maximum aggregation in any one rock lobster fishery was introduced by the Minister. It was in part to protect small fishermen from being forced out, unable to compete with the corporate dollars.
Mr Miller goes on to suggest the NZ Recreational Fishing Council is defunct, and further castigates our local representative Alain Jorion. But given that Mr Miller, an ex commercial fisherman, is not a member, what would he know?
I can assure you that the NZRFC is both active, alive and well. This council has been actively representing the people of Gisborne on recreational fishing concerns for many, many years and continues to do so. We can also advise that Alain Jorion has been and remains your staunchest recreational fishing advocate for over a decade and should be recognised and thanked for his years of service.
Finally, it is clear that Mr Miller's comments are consistent with being an industry stool pigeon — no further comment.
Keith Ingram, President,
NZ Recreational Fishing Council