I have to admit that there are times I don’t entirely agree with the thoughts of Graham Carter, Editor of the Fishing and Outdoors newspaper but I must congratulate him on his well written and very accurate summation of the situation, that appears on the front page of the latest issue. His article is exactly as I have found it during the meetings and the investigations I have been involved in. The whole situation is scandalous. You need to read it to fully understand just how bizarre the management of Fisheries has become.
Before any of the Commercial Fishers start thinking this is another bashing, let me assure you it isn’t. It is completely about the management of your resource. You need to be as deeply involved in getting this right as much as the Recreational sector. More so in fact, it is your livelihood.
This Fisheries Review that is currently being carried out has to be one of the biggest disappointments/ farces going and totally appears to be, to quote Pink Floyd, Another Brick in the Wall. The meeting I attended last week on behalf of our members and stepping up for every “Hurl & Hope” fisho, all quarter of a million of you, give or take and to be given 30 minutes to present a case or valued opinion was shameful. I have been accused of being arrogant, aggressive and abusive, well go figure. I’m into telling it like it is and luckily, this time, I didn’t have time to get into any of the three. On the other side of the table were four prominent New Zealanders. Not appearing as a Technical Advisory Group as was supposed, far from it. More like a tick the boxes and get back to me group.
A leader, who holds some esteem with me, a little out of his depth here. One member who could tell you how many fly spots were on the ceiling such was his interest in being in the room. A Rec Rep who was ok that we only get 30 min to present a sound case, one other member, ex Industry, along with the only one who I felt had any understanding, a woman who knows how the QMS works.
How can we make it better. The QMS needs to be overhauled. There needs to be an indepth enquiry (Royal Commission) into the MPI Fisheries Division and the way they have been operating.
Get over trying to incorporate Rec allocation into the QMS, its not going to happen.
The Rec Sector catch summary is pretty dam accurate so get over mandatory self reporting of catch, it wont work. Time would be better spent on fixing what is broke and that is a very poorly managed New Zealand inshore fishery.
Of all things, start listening to the people. There are 700,000 Rec fishers in this country. There are three Organisations within this sector that are stepping up. The Ministry need to acknowledge them and engage. I still cannot believe we were accused of not engaging by those at the table last week. We will engage but certainly not with those running around the country making malicious statements. Get rid of the so called Rec Fishing Initiative. It is just another geo- political wing of the Ministry. Engage with them at your peril.
Once again read that article and try not to bite your nails