Between July and September LegaSea ran a campaign – the ‘Crayfish Crisis’. It highlighted the collapse of the Crayfish 2 (CRA 2) stock and the need for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Quota Management System.
This campaign was developed following the March 2017 survey of more than 800 CRA 2 fishers and divers. Many of these respondents had more than 20 years’ experience so were able to provide detailed comments on how the CRA 2 fishery had changed over time. The survey revealed an overall dissatisfaction about the quality and availability of crayfish between Pakiri and East Cape on the northeast coast of the North Island.
A 3-minute video ‘The Tragedy of the Quota Management System’ was published online and people were encouraged to contact their local MP and Nathan Guy, the Minister for Primary Industries, and express their thoughts about the ongoing mismanagement of New Zealand’s fisheries.
The campaign drew mixed reactions:
- The MPs and Minister provided assurances that they were aware of the concerns and a scientific survey would be completed later this year.
- Commercial interests strongly objected to the claims about depletion and poor catch rates.
- Many non-commercial interests agreed that either a seasonal or full closure was required to kick start the restoration of crayfish abundance and marine diversity to more natural levels.
The campaign has been one of our most successful in terms of crayfish. More than 780 people emailed their local MP and Minister Nathan Guy. Both were left in no doubt that their response to the crayfish issue would influence how people voted in the recent general election.
LegaSea acknowledges and thanks all those individuals and organisations that helped to make the CRA 2 campaign a success. It was a combined effort by LegaSea, the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council, New Zealand Underwater Association, Dive New Zealand, New Zealand Angling and Casting Association and our LegaSea partners.