Legasea press release
In September the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council endorsed a policy encouraging recreational fishers to retire their scallop dredges.
At a time when the community is increasingly concerned about the deteriorating state of our marine environment, it’s exciting to see this Council embracing progressive policy and encouraging change to their 36,000 affiliated members.
We now know that the seafloor is a crucial element for a healthy marine ecosystem. Species like snapper and trevally feed on crabs, flatfish and shellfish found on the seafloor. Juvenile species also hide from predatory fish in the seaweed which grows up the water column. Any form of bottom contact fishing destroys large amounts of this sea life.
We are often asked the question – “What can I do as a recreational fish do to minimise my impact on the marine environment?” The immediate answer – “Dump the dredge. Make friends with a diver.”
We also want to acknowledge our LegaSea partners, Burnsco, Marine Deals and Hunting & Fishing who have stopped selling scallop dredges. The overarching sentiment – we need to prioritise marine health over economic profit.
In addition, independent organisations such as the Outboard Boating Club of Auckland (OBC) and Kawau Boating Club are also advocating for the removal of recreational scallop dredging.
Seems like there’s nothing more powerful than a good idea whose time has come, it’s exciting to see the community embracing positive change.
Growing concerns about depleted scallops
Diminishing scallop populations are causing concern and coastal communities in the Hauraki Gulf are starting to look for answers.
Most recently discussions have started in the Bay of Plenty and up into the eastern Coromandel beaches. Communities in Opito Bay, Whitianga, Tairua and Whangamata are getting on board with the call for a ban on dredging in inshore waters.
LegaSea and our New Zealand Sport Fishing Council fisheries team are now working with concerned Coromandel communities to find a solution to the depletion of scallops.