Snapper debate just the beginning

March 3, 2014
This is the time of year that many fishers dream of, warm water, fish on the bite and competitions galore. Whatever your fishing fancy, there is an event that caters to your taste. A really pleasing aspect is the number of events that are donating the proceeds to LegaSea. Every cent counts and is spent wisely. All our activity revolves around achieving abundant fisheries, so if you contributed or have been involved in one of these events high five to you! Snapper After much debate, the multi-sector management meetings for Snapper 1 are underway. There is a lot at stake so the process is expected to take more than 12 months. Nathan Guy, the Minister for Primary Industries, has tasked this group with developing a snapper 1 management plan by October 2015. Any outcome will affect more than half a million people who live and fish between North Cape and the eastern Bay of Plenty. Our advocates will be seeking to achieve more than just a plan for snapper 1. We want to rebuild Area 1 fisheries and the ecosystem in which fish live. And when that is complete, we hope to have a blueprint that can be applied to any area in the country. That’s got to be good for all of us! There is a range of measures that would achieve more abundant fisheries; some of these were raised during LegaSea’s SOS Save Our Snapper campaign last year. In 2013 many thousands of you asked for:
  • A plan to rebuild snapper and other fisheries
  • A ban on inshore trawling and Danish seining, to protect juvenile fish
  • Elimination of wasteful practices such as dumping and high grading
  • An increase to the snapper 25cm minimum size limit for commercial fishers
  • LegaSea is working to ensure we get real reductions in commercial waste and dumping and no inshore trawling in sensitive juvenile habitat. This year we will be expecting:
  • Results from observers and cameras on inshore trawlers
  • To be involved in designing the next snapper tagging project
  • Results from NIWA’s boat ramp recreational harvest surveys
  • Results from the charter boat reporting scheme
  • Comprehensive data on the mortality of undersized fish caused by bulk harvesting techniques, particularly trawl and Danish seine
  • What you can do This year is election year and collectively we have the opportunity to make a difference. LegaSea will be working with a number of organisations to develop fisher-friendly policy that we want our politicians to promote. When that work is done we will let you know the results and give you options to make your voice heard. Those options could range from visiting your local MP to calling up a radio station to air your views on who you will be voting for at election time. It is up to us to do something meaningful if we want our kids and theirs to enjoy abundant fisheries and a healthy marine environment. LegaSea supports and promotes your interests for environmental management of our precious fisheries resources. By making a modest monthly contribution of $10 or more to LegaSea (that’s a coffee and some bait) we can apply the resources required to effectively lobby for better fisheries policy and management practices.