Let’s rescue our fish

June 17, 2020
Let’s rescue our fish The common definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result. Equally bizarre is the expectation that bulk harvesting our precious fish stocks will deliver the wealth and prosperity we need to get our economy back on its feet. A radical change is required. LegaSea and the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council have developed the Rescue Fish policy because now is the time for change so our grandkids can have a brighter, more sustainable future. Rescue Fish is a policy package designed to restore New Zealand’s coastal fish stocks to abundant levels and create a healthier, more productive marine environment. What does change look like? Firstly, the Quota Management System has to go and be replaced by a more agile regime that encourages artisanal fishing, regional jobs and economic growth. With the QMS gone small-scale fishers will no longer have to pay rent to quota owners nor receive a fixed price for their catch. They will be empowered to innovate. Fishing permits will be priced so they can afford to find new eco-friendly ways to catch fish of the highest quality. They could even sell fish direct from their vessel, providing locals with the freshest catch. The possibilities are mouth-watering. Another commitment is to ban industrial fishing methods from inshore waters. These include mobile, bottom contact bulk harvesting methods such as trawling and dredging, and purse seining. Inshore waters are those out to 12 nautical miles from the coast, or waters out to 200 metres deep, whichever is furthest from shore. Change starts with the Government buying back at fair value all existing commercial quota shares in the inshore fishery. The estimated buyback cost is between $0.76 and $3.1 billion, with a mid-point of $1.67 billion. This cost is recoverable from the future sale of commercial fishing permits and will eventually provide an income stream to Government coffers. A small price to pay if it means we are the first generation to pass on a fishery in better condition than what we inherited. Please, go to rescuefish.co.nz and sign the petition for positive change. Sign our petition http://rescuefish.co.nz/petition/