Time Out for Tarakihi

9100 Petitions Signed
20% Reduction in TACC
25,200 Campaign video views
Tarakihi is a mealtime favourite for people who fish and those who buy it retail because it is notoriously good for cooking when fresh. The tarakihi stock on the east coast, between Otago and east Northland, is severely depleted from years of trawling. Recreational fishers are finding it increasingly difficult catch tarakihi. In some areas recreational fishers report there are no tarakihi. Stocks need to be rebuilt to healthy levels. In July 2018, Fisheries New Zealand proposed changes for the future management of tarakihi. Their proposals didn’t go far enough in trying to rebuild tarakihi abundance so LegaSea kicked into gear and developed a public awareness campaign – Time Out for Tarakihi. The Time Out for Tarakihi campaign included a petition, media statements, targeted emails, social media, and two videos. LegaSea called on the Minister Stuart Nash to cut commercial catches by 65%, to rebuild the stock from its all-time low point. LegaSea initiated a petition seeking support for the following statement – “I want the Minister of Fisheries to make a bold decision by October 2018 to reduce the environmental impacts of trawling and rebuild our tarakihi stocks within 10 years, or less”. The 6-week campaign closed on August 27th, generating over 9,100 petitions. In September Stuart Nash announced there would be a 20% cut to commercial catches as of October 1st, 2018. He has signalled futher cuts in 2019, unless the commercial industry can deliver a “plan to rebuild the stock within 10 years”. This is not good enough. The tarakihi stock on the east coast is depleted, smashed by decades of trawling. History has proven that commercial fishers cannot be relied upon to rebuild the tarakihi stock. LegaSea will be monitoring progress and will let you know what more we can do when the east coast tarakihi fishery is reviewed again. Make sure you sign up today to stay tuned for more.

Celebrating our collective action

LegaSea is grateful for the support and enthusiasm of many people and organisations during the Time Out for Tarakihi campaign. At the risk of omitting some organisations (let us know if we’ve missed you) we are celebrating the excellent support from Partners and aligned organisations including:  
  1. Media outlets and magazines.
  2. Marine Deals – sent out campaign flyers with every order.
  3. Metservice – regular placement of campaign adverts online.
  4. Burnsco – petition packs placed instore.
  5. Hunting & Fishing – selected placement of petition packs instore.
  6. Strong support from many retail outlets in the Northland, Central and Wellington regions.
  7. Dive fraternity – strong support from many outlets and organisations including the New Zealand Underwater Association.
  8. New Zealand Angling & Casting Association – promotion online & interclub.
  9. Marlborough Recreational Fishers Association – driving awareness around the top of the South Island.

Summary

The Time Out for Tarakihi campaign was effective in engaging people in the northern, central, and southern regions. People strongly object to the bulk harvesting and trawling of nursery areas, and the targeting of juvenile tarakihi populations. This campaign was useful in elevating public awareness of the need for an inquiry into fisheries management and the Quota Management System. LegaSea appreciates the contribution and effort by all volunteers, contributors, aligned organisations and Partners. Their combined effort made this campaign worthwhile.

The good oil

The latest science assessment rates tarakihi on the east coast at 17% of its original size, below acceptable management levels. This depletion has had a major impact, reducing catches of take-home fish and overall recreational catch. Commercial catch has been maintained because tarakihi are mostly caught by trawlers targeting fish aggregating for spawning, or juvenile, nursery areas. In September 2018 Stuart Nash announced there would be a 20% cut to commercial catches as of October 1st. He has signalled futher cuts in 2019, unless the commercial industry can deliver a “plan to rebuild the stock within 10 years”. This is not good enough. The tarakihi stock on the east coast is depleted, smashed by decades of trawling. History has proven that commercial fishers cannot be relied upon to rebuild the tarakihi stock. It is the Minister’s duty to rebuild depleted stocks, not commercial fishers. The Minister is obliged to manage fish stocks so they are abundant enough to provide for future generations’ needs. The sad irony is that in many area tarakihi are so depleted the stock is not even providing for today’s needs let alone future expectations.

What’s the solution?

Collectively, we need to face up to the fact that we cannot keep tearing through our fish populations and benthic (seabed) environment using 19th century trawl techniques and expecting them to sustain us in 2019 and beyond. We have to get real. We must be brave enough to set high standards for anyone exploiting our marine environment. Then we measure all activity against those standards. If this means creating a 12-mile inshore zone free from trawling and mobile bulk harvesting methods then let’s just do it. There are smarter technologies that leave a lighter footprint on the environment available now. The lack of investment in innovation just proves how little money the fishers on the water are making from fishing. We must reduce our impact on the marine environment, and we must rebuild our tarakihi stock so hard working commercial fishers can make a decent income to support innovation. We need to change how we do things so that all New Zealanders benefit from the exploitation of our fish. LegaSea will be monitoring progress and will let you know what more we can do when the east coast tarakihi fishery is reviewed again. Make sure you sign up today to stay tuned for more.

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History

Shelving not legitimate management

October 15, 2018 As part of the recent tarakihi review corporate commercial interests supported the shelving of tarakihi catch in lieu of the Minister reducing the Total Allowable Commercial Catch. We submitted against the shelving proposal. It is pleasing to report that Stuart Nash has rejected the proposal and applied cuts to commercial catches in the stock spanning […]

Minister’s commitments signal change

September 30, 2018 A positive to come out of the latest round of stock reviews is the Minister’s commitment to change or revisit some long-standing practices that we have objected to for many years. These include truncated consultation timeframes, the inconsistency in setting aside allowances for fishing related mortality, and recognising that current fishing practices need to change. […]

Tarakihi decision staves off the inevitable

September 28, 2018 LegaSea is bitterly disappointed that Stuart Nash has ignored more than 9000 of us calling for decisive cuts to commercial catches of tarakihi on the east coast of New Zealand. From October 1st the Minister of Fisheries has applied a 20% cut to commercial catches, while LegaSea has been campaigning for a 65% reduction. LegaSea […]

Minister fails New Zealand’s fishery

September 26, 2018 The recreational advocacy group LegaSea is bitterly disappointed the Minister of Fisheries has deferred making decisive cuts to commercial catches of tarakihi on New Zealand’s east coast for at least another year. In October Stuart Nash will apply a 20% cut to the commercial catch, while LegaSea has been campaigning for a 65% reduction. LegaSea […]

We can rescue our fisheries from depletion

September 20, 2018 We did it. In just 18 working days our fisheries team developed responses to nine fisheries management proposals, including a comprehensive and pragmatic solution to rebuild the east coast tarakihi stock. The latest science shows that decades of trawling from Northland to Otago has reduced the stock to 17% of its original size, below acceptable […]

Support for decisive tarakihi decision

September 18, 2018 This article was written prior to release of the Minister’s tarakihi decision. Thanks to a collective effort, LegaSea has gathered over 8000 signatures supporting the Minister to make a bold decision to rebuild tarakihi to abundant levels. Together we have called on the Minister to act decisively. Stuart Nash needs to cut commercial catches of […]

Tarakihi campaign success

September 15, 2018 This article was written prior to the release of the Minister’s tarakihi decision on 19th September 2018. LegaSea’s Time Out for Tarakihi campaign has closed with over 8000 people signing the petition urging the Minister to heed the best available science and cut commercial catches by 65%, so east coast stocks can rebuild to healthy […]

Conservation cannot be used as a weapon

August 25, 2018 This article was written prior to the release of the Minister’s tarakihi decision on 19th September 2018. LegaSea is celebrating the ongoing willingness of recreational fishers to conserve fish. On the flip side when we do volunteer conservation we need to make sure our collective efforts are effective and not used as a weapon against […]

You can help rescue our tarakihi stocks

July 27, 2018 Tarakihi stocks on the eastern coasts of both islands are so depleted that the Minister of Fisheries must implement a rebuild plan before October 2018, and recreational fishing is in the firing line. Decades of trawling, dumping and high grading have taken their toll. Major catch reductions are required between Otago and North Cape if […]

What next for recreational fishing of tarakihi?

July 26, 2018 This article was written prior to the submission being completed and sent to Fisheries New Zealand. To see the current discussion on changes to recreational daily bag limits please read the submission in full here. Without exception, recreational fishers attending meetings with LegaSea have strongly supported conserving fish for future generations. Tarakihi management is currently […]

Campaign to save a Kiwi favourite

July 19, 2018 The east coast population of one of New Zealand’s favourite fish, tarakihi, has fallen by over 80% in the past 50 years and the stock is now overfished. LegaSea, the recreational fishing lobby group, is urging the Minister of Fisheries to drastically cut catches to rebuild the tarakihi population. Tarakihi is one of New Zealand’s […]

Action needed on tarakihi stocks

June 28, 2018 It is a common refrain from many of the older recreational fishers we meet, “Fish stocks are not what they used to be”. This year large cuts to tarakihi catch will be proposed for the whole east coast of the North and South Islands. It has taken several years for a stock assessment to be […]

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