Snapper battle in full swing!

August 29, 2013
The time has come for action. Right now we are rallying support to fight for the future of our snapper fishery, fight for our voice to be heard, and fight against commercial greed and government mismanagement. It’s on! At the time of writing this we wait with baited breath for the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to release proposed management options for our Snapper 1 fishery spanning the Bay of Plenty, Hauraki Gulf, and East Northland. The guts of it is that in order to rebuild snapper stocks to target levels both recreational and commercial need to make changes. The big question is – will MPI make decisions that are fair and reasonable or will they try to undermine the people of New Zealand while chasing export dollars? Indications are that they want to reduce our recreational bag limit of nine snapper and make no changes to commercial quota. To get an update of what specifically they’ve proposed and how it affects you please visit the LegaSea website and most importantly follow the instruction there to HAVE YOUR SAY. Here’s a few key points you need to know:
  1. MPI do not have an agreed management strategy or target to underpin future management of the snapper fishery. This, they say, will be worked on between now and 2014. Any decisions made this year will be in isolation of a wider plan and a kneejerk reaction now could be highly inappropriate next year. We’ve asked them to wait, but they say they can’t.
  2. We support a rebuild plan but any measures recreational fishers take to conserve fish should not be used in the future to buffer commercial quota until the target levels are reached. The default management target is 40% of the unfished biomass.
  3. The commercial sector must address the unseen waste from fishing methods such as trawling that kill hundreds of thousands of juvenile fish.
  4. The Bay of Plenty region requires special focus. Snapper stocks here are over-fished. The appalling reality of the low BOP stock size is being masked by lumping these figures in with the Hauraki Gulf region.
The future of your snapper fishing is being debated and decided right now. If you are complacent we will fail. If it’s important to you to protect your rights, our environment and the fishing future for your children then please make a contribution to positive outcomes for the future of our fisheries.