Fisheries NZ Minister Stuart Nash’s 2019 decision to allow East Coast tarakihi stocks to remain overfished for the next 25 years is not environmentally sustainable or legal, says Forest and Bird.
The matter is in the High Court.
“The East Coast tarakihi stock has been fished down to a shocking 15% of their natural population,” says Forest and Bird CEO Kevin Hague.
“There is clear Government policy that any fish that is depleted to this extent must be allowed to rebuild, and in the case of tarakihi within 10 years. Minister Nash’s 2019 decision to reduce the commercial catch by only 10% means it will take at least 25 years for the stock to rebuild, if it ever does,”
The East Coast tarakihi population had been pillaged by commercial fishing to a critically low level. Dumping by commercial bats has occurred.
“Yet the purpose of the Quota Management System and the Fisheries Act is to prevent this from happening,” said Kevin Hague.
The Minister’s decision should concern anyone who makes their living from the sea, recreational fishers and tangata whenua. Tarakihi are a key coastal species on which jobs and the health of coastal seas depend he said.
© Tarakihi are a much valued recreational species