Best antidote for 2020

January 10, 2021

After an off-season of uncertainty, lockdowns and boat maintenance the rewards are taking family and friends out on the boat. There’s nothing quite like the squeals from kids as they hook up to their first fish, or the splutter as they see the underwater seascape for the first time. These good times depend on having abundant fish life and a healthy marine environment, and that’s why LegaSea is so dedicated to rebuilding depleted fish stocks.

Our social, economic and cultural wellbeings have diminished over time as our coastal fish stocks have become depleted. The Quota Management System has not delivered the benefits that were envisaged in 1986. Many inshore fish stocks have not rebuilt to abundant levels.

The Rescue Fish policy is all about restoring biodiversity by rebuilding fish abundance. A healthy fish stock is one that has a broad range of ages, lots of small fish in amongst the adults with a few slow growing moochers.

Having a more natural abundance of fish means each age group is contributing to overall ecosystem function. A robust marine ecosystem means it will be more resilient to environmental and climatic changes.

Damaging bulk harvesting methods such as bottom trawling and dredging are still permitted inshore, even though these are the most productive waters where small fry hang out before they brave the open waters.

LegaSea is promoting Rescue Fish because it encompasses so many aspects that are important to all Kiwis. It seeks to make commercial fishing more profitable, to generate much needed economic activity in neglected coastal regions, enable families to enjoy their day out on the water, and better protect the marine environment.

The Rescue Fish package has so much potential. It’s an outcome of years of research, and international review and activity by the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council. Rescue Fish will only succeed if we, the public, and the new government embrace the need for a more integrated approach to fisheries management.

The prospect of a great day’s fishing or precious time with family surely makes Rescue Fish the best remedy to the hard yards of 2020.

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