Toby and Venita Simcox have been at the forefront of LegaSea Hawke’s Bay since its inception in 2014. They are your typical volunteers, willing to take on any task that needed doing just to get the job done and make it better for everyone else. They remain passionate about the cause, but after five year’s work they have decided to step down as Chairman and Secretary of LegaSea Hawke’s Bay.
Brian Firman, a spokesperson for LegaSea Hawke’s Bay, is sad to see them go and said the team understands their circumstances.
“The work is time-consuming and their efforts and input as Chairman and Secretary have certainly been much appreciated and valued. Toby, Venita, and the rest of the LegaSea Hawke’s Bay team remain committed to improving the Hawke’s Bay fishery for the benefit of everyone.”
Most recently the LegaSea Hawke’s Bay team has been involved in a tussle over dumping of waste material at sea. Napier Port recently secured resource consents from the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council to take dredged material from the Port site and dump it at sea. With the backing of the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council, LegaSea Hawke’s Bay submitted to the consent applications process as did a local commercial fisher Karl Warr, the New Zealand Angling & Casting Association and Pania Surfcasting club. All parties raised concerns about the potential adverse effects the dumped material would have on the marine environment and fisheries.
After multiple meetings and a review of expert advice there will be a reduced volume of material dropped at the disposal area. Another outcome of discussions is that a Heads of Agreement has been signed between the Port of Napier, Karl Warr and LegaSea Hawke’s Bay and New Zealand Sport Fishing Council. It is important for the people of Hawke’s Bay that all work is done to protect both the Pania and Town Reefs while minimising the environmental footprint of the Port’s work.
A Fisheries Liaison Group has been established and monthly trawl surveys of the proposed offshore disposal area will be conducted. Regular water quality tests are also part of the Agreement. The Port has gone one step further and committed to using dredged rock material to create a mound as a fishing platform for recreational fishers.
All these outcomes are a result of Hawke’s Bay people being willing to stand up for themselves and the marine environment. Thanks to all the parties involved and the LegaSea team, the children of Hawke’s Bay have a brighter fishing future. Kia kaha team.