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Recreational Fishing

UnitedFuture will create a new category of fish named “Recreational Only Species.” The people of New Zealand will be given the first priority to fish these species, before the profits commercial fishing companies. UnitedFuture believes recreational fishing must come before commercial profits because it is the birth right of every New Zealander to head to the beach to catch kahawai or snapper to feed their family. UnitedFuture will seek to ensure that this birth right of New Zealanders to catch fish in our waters comes before any commercial quota. Kiwi’s birth right to catch and eat fish should not be compromised by companies that catch and sell too many of our recreational species of fish to foreign countries. Our “Recreational Only Species” policy ensures that the future generations’ right to fish is prioritised over the profits of corporations; and will ensure that there will be adequate supplies of recreational fish available to the domestic market. UnitedFuture, alone, will ensure the people of New Zealand have sufficient stocks and access before any commercial allocation is granted. Under our policy minimum fish stocks will be enforced ensuring our children and children’s children can go fishing, just like we have for generations, and catch fish for their dinner.

It is UnitedFuture policy to:

  • Amend the Fisheries Act to create “Recreational Only Species” giving recreational fishers priority over commercial fishers for specific species of fish. For these species the Ministry of Primary Industries will establish a biomass bottom line setting a permanent minimum tonnage of fish in that species.
    • Recreational bag limits will be set within the minimum biomass tonnage of fish ensuring that overfishing by commercial operators won’t affect recreational limits.
    • If the commercial operators overfish and cause the biomass to fall below the minimum permanent tonnage they will be required to cease fishing that species until the fish returns above the minimum tonnage.
    • Initially we will include species such as Kahawai, Snapper, Kingfish, and Blue Cod as “Recreational Only Species” while reserving the right to adjust that list as circumstances require.
  • Introduce a type of new marine reserve named recreational reserves. These reserves will be for recreational fishers and Iwi to fish in; commercial fishing in these reserves will be banned. This gives the dual benefit of increasing the available fish for the recreational fisher and providing a greater area of net free zones for the fish to live.
  • Substantially increase the level of funding made available for robust scientific monitoring over the impact that specific catch limits and fishing methods are having on fish populations and the marine environment, in order to ensure sustainability of the resource. This funding will be made available to universities, Crown Research Institutes, and other relevant institutions ;
  • Work with the recreational fishing sector to establish a public consultation process regarding the future of inshore fisheries management. Our intention is to preserve the ability for future generations of New Zealanders to have access to the recreational fishing opportunities that we and previous generations have enjoyed
  • Ensure that the Government recognises that education is essential for the future survival of the ocean’s resources and to recognise that importance by making appropriate changes and additions to the school curriculum. The details of this will form part of our UnitedFuture’s Education policy.
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