Wise Decision-making or Blatant Commercial Bias?

Press release by Legasea

Last Friday the Minister for Oceans and Fisheries, Shane Jones, made his first round of decisions for a range of fish stocks across New Zealand. While we hoped for a positive outcome, we have instead been left with a sour taste for what is to come.


What is clear from the decisions is the Minister’s bias towards prioritising exports over Kiwis feeding their whanau with local kaimoana.


On the East Coast of the North Island between East Cape and south of the Wairoa River (CRA 3), the crayfish recreational daily bag limit has been cut in half, while commercial catch limits are off the hook with a small 20% reduction. Our concern stands with the outright bias that hides within this decision. 


The Minister claims he has made a precautionary decision. We say he has decided to protect commercial interests by making a small cut to their export catches, while we pay the price of losing access to a valuable food fishery. 


Targeting recreational fishers who only take around 3% of the commercial harvest, is like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. 


Fishers in Kaikōura are left with a similar feeling as the Minister decided on limiting their recreational pāua season to only two months, while commercial fishers have access year-round. 


This is despite the most recent stock assessment indicating that the pāua fishery is steadily rebuilding, with greater pāua abundance than before the 2016 earthquakes. 


Kaikōura Boating and Fishing Club President Marty Sullivan stated that, “Shane Jones’ decision flies in the face of common sense and decency.” We couldn’t agree more, Marty.


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3 Responses to Wise Decision-making or Blatant Commercial Bias?

  1. Ryan Smith says:

    Here we go again with the recreational public getting whacked while commercial get mild treatment. Doesnt MPI and Minister realise recreational is a big dollar generartor for the economy. Over a billion dollars.

  2. "Kiwi Keith" says:

    Management under the Fisheries Act has to have equal regard for recreational, cultural (customary) and commercial. But that is not evident here. Both the ministry and minister are heavily favouring commercial. Customary of course, have no regulations.

  3. D Krall says:

    The allocations basically amount to discrimination against the recreational public. Here in Marlborough, recreational set netting for moki and butterfish is restricted to a few months; commercial can fish 12 months of the year. Recreational have to stay with their nets, commercial don’t have any such condition attached.
    It is so absurd and so unfair.
    Remember recreational set nets are only 60 metres long, commercial can use nets up to 1,000 metres long, so I was informed.

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