Charting our future

September 10, 2012
In Aotearoa we have four million residents, soon that will be six; more fish in the water will be needed to provide for future generations’ needs. Aside from northern kahawai, we have few examples of fisheries being managed with our kids’ interests in mind. Hence the need for LegaSea! As recreational fishers, we neither have the desire nor the means to race off to Court every time we object to a management decision. It would be more beneficial if we had an organisation that could effectively ADVOCATE our interests. As evidenced by the success of the Kahawai Challenge, the NZ Sport Fishing Council has both the policy and people required to achieve the best outcome. Collectively the team has more than 100 years of advocacy experience and has produced a raft of submissions, legal, science and public awareness material. With your support, the Council can become an even more effective and dynamic organisation focused on protecting our priceless non-commercial fishing interests. RESEARCH Everyone knows the adage ‘who pays the piper calls the tune’. Despite being touted as ‘world-leading,’ it is an unusual aspect of our management system that commercial interests fund most fisheries research. In stocks where recreational harvest is significant, the Ministry of Primary Industries (formerly Fisheries) is the majority funder. Resources are focused on stock assessment and harvest estimates. Often this science is not readily available for public scrutiny even when it has been paid for by our taxpayer dollars. Consequently, there is a dearth of information on social, economic and cultural values available to support many of the arguments put forward to protect and enhance our non-commercial fishing interests. The New Zealand Marine Research Foundation and Blue Water Marine Research have provided valuable science, reports, and advice to the NZ Sport Fishing Council for years. All money spent is carefully considered, scrutinised, and reported thoroughly. In a commodity-driven world it is critical we fund LegaSea to ensure we, the public, have access to our own RESEARCH. EDUCATION Since 2009 over 125,000 children at 480 schools have experienced the Hiwi the Kiwi Goes Fishing show and teaching resource. They learned vital messages about fishing for the future, fish handling, boat safety and being water-wise. With your support, there is potential to reach another 125,000 kids and provide a balance to the PC-messages they are being inundated with every day. Working TOGETHER Positive outcomes have been achieved by working TOGETHER on agreed issues with environmental organisations and tangata whenua. The simple act of sharing information has provided opportunities not previously available. The NZ Sport Fishing Council has earned respect and a reputation for being a voice of reason, especially when it comes to the cut-and-thrust of fisheries management discussions. This cooperative effort is making a noticeable difference to the relationships amongst various advocates, and to moderating the more extreme views. Industry and non-commercial commentators have expressed interest in having recreational fishers constrained by smaller bag limits and a statutory body. Under current circumstances neither of these suggestions are acceptable. Firstly, because any conservation by recreational fishers seems to be interpreted as an opportunity to subsidise current catch or increase commercial quota and exports. Secondly, it is inevitable that a statutory body established to “represent” recreational fishing interests would need to charge you and I a compulsory license fee to sustain itself. Overseas experience demonstrates these bodies can rapidly grow into a sprawling bureaucracy. Through LegaSea, the NZ Sport Fishing Council is determined to focus on providing a voluntary advocacy model that enhances, rather than detracts, from our current and future fishing interests. Innovative strategies Sustainability is described in the Purpose of the Fisheries Act (1996) as meaning “maintaining the potential of fisheries resources to meet the reasonably foreseeable needs of future generations…”. The NZ Sport Fishing Council has innovative strategies to achieve abundance soon and for the future. A simple start includes:
  • Ensuring fish conserved by recreational fishers stay in the water to grow and multiply for the well being of future generations – not allocating these fish as commercial quota and exporting them.
  • Radically reducing the wastage and senseless killing of juvenile fish by inappropriate fishing methods, by any sector.
  • Eliminating bottom-contact fishing methods from habitats of special significance.
  • We can leave future fishing interests to chance, or we can contribute to our kid’s destiny. Support LegaSea and ensure we have an effective voice championing our interests! Your contribution LegaSea is seeking a simple contribution of $20 per person, more for families and business support is most welcome. Reports will be quarterly. In a year’s time, we are hoping that you will be suitably impressed with progress and dip into your pocket again for another few bucks. More so, we need you to bring your mates on board. With few funds we cannot reach these people. We are relying on you to be bold and get them and your family into LegaSea. We are doing our best to impress and your endorsement would make a meaningful difference.