August 30, 2014
Five meetings of the Snapper 1 Strategy Group have now been held. There has also been a number of meetings between the Ministry for Primary Industries and representatives of the various stakeholder groups.
Our dedicated team has been flat out developing reference documents that present a best-case scenario for future management of our fisheries, not just northern snapper.
There are broad considerations that need to be applied to all our important inshore fisheries, and most critical is to take an ecosystem-wide view when managing our precious marine resources. After all, our snapper, gurnard, crayfish and kahawai need a variety of habitat and food sources as they grow.
We will only achieve abundant, productive and diverse fisheries if we apply the Fisheries Act 1996 in its fullest. The Act has all the tools available. What we need is a Minister willing to apply the precaution necessary to achieve that abundant state.
There are many factors, including land run-off and biosecurity, that impact on our marine environment so it is unrealistic to expect restoration to its unfished state. However, we are doing our best to achieve better understanding of what the Minister needs, and to clarify how we envisage achieving rebuilt fisheries and a healthier marine ecosystem.