LegaSea welcomes the creation of a new separate portfolio for Fisheries and wishes the new Minister of Fisheries, Stuart Nash, good luck as he tackles what has become a highly contentious portfolio.
Fisheries has been lumped in with forestry and farming under the Ministry for Primary Industries banner since 2012 but it has never sat well within the portfolio, says LegaSea spokesman Scott Macindoe.
“Farmers grow crops, till the soil, manage the herd, maintain their fences. Fish live in the wild and aren’t farmed at all, but hunted. There’s an urgent need to now reconsider whether exporting tonnes of fish with no added value for several dollars a kilo is actually good for the New Zealand economy and our people. LegaSea believes there is much more value to be gained from growing our fisheries to abundant levels, enabling small businesses to take advantage of that abundance, and developing much needed jobs in the regions. “
LegaSea looks forward to working with the Minister once he has the role in hand.
“We see a huge future for New Zealand’s fisheries in economic terms. Our potential as a tourism destination is second to none but we have to act now to stop the depletion of our stocks before it’s too late.”
The Quota Management System (QMS) has seen New Zealand fisheries driven to the point of total collapse in some areas of the country and recreational fishers have been calling for a change to the way we manage these fisheries for some time.
“Everywhere I go I’m inundated by recreational fishers who are desperate to call the public’s attention to the plight of our fisheries. We’ve seen once abundant stocks depleted to the point where it’s unusual in some areas to see gurnard or grouper in our waters. We have to reverse this trend before it’s too late.”
The formation of a specialised team that will look after New Zealand’s fisheries is a great first step.
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