Snapper talks shaping up

April 4, 2014
Snapper lovers will be pleased to know the planned strategy group discussions are underway, with all sectors getting a say in how they want to have the northern fishery managed in the future. Our objectives have been shaped around the many thousands of submissions made during last year’s SOS – Save Our Snapper campaign.

LegaSea submitters asked for a range of remedies, including:

  • A plan to rebuild snapper and other fisheries
  • Effective management to rebuild seriously depleted Bay of Plenty 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 legal size for commercial fishers
  • On April 1st the Minister’s new regulations to control our fishing between North Cape and the eastern Bay of Plenty came into force

    Last year Nathan Guy decided we needed to be fishing to a new minimum 30cm size limit for snapper, up from 27cm. Our bag limit has also been reduced, from nine to seven. LegaSea fully supports recreational fishers conserving fish. But the inequality in decision making is blatantly obvious. Our fishing has been limited while commercial practices, that kill thousands of juveniles, continue to be deployed, as they have for decades. Despite the promises of future change mortality rates are the same, and juvenile fish are still being smashed. If you live in the Bay of Plenty you can feel rightfully aggrieved that no specific measures are planned to rebuild your fishery, which has been estimated to be as low as 6% of its original stock size. Four recreational representatives are involved in the Snapper 1 Strategy Group. They are John Holdsworth, Barry Torkington, Trish Rea and Keith Ingram. They will be doing their best to make sure the fisheries off the northeast coast are abundant and available so you can enjoy a quality fishing experience in the future.