Frustrated recreational representatives in the Marlborough Sounds are pleased Nathan Guy has acknowledged their management concerns, but are dismayed it has taken eight months to receive a response from the Minister for Primary Industries.
After sending two letters and a delegation to Wellington the Marlborough Recreational Fishers Association’s (MRFA) concerns were seemingly ignored until May this year.
Minister Guy eventually apologised, saying the letter got “lost in the system”!
The MRFA is calling for:
The abolition of the slot rule, currently limiting recreational catch to blue cod between 30-35cm only;
Restoration of the daily bag limit, from two per person, to 4 or 5.
Abolition of the transit rule, banning the transport of more than 2 blue cod per person through the Sounds;
The fishing closure during August and September to apply to all fishers, not just recreational interests.
There are other measures that discriminate against recreational interests in the Sounds, and after years of inaction by his Ministry the MRFA is keen to talk through those measures and offer constructive alternatives to the Minister. This is more than just a local election issue, because fishers from Nelson, Marlborough, Christchurch and Wellington are affected by the strict regime applying in the Sounds.
Clearly what we all need is a Minister that cares enough to respond in a timely and positive manner.