The groups include the NZ Recreational Fishing Council, the NZ
Big Game Fishing Council, option4, the Hokianga Accord, Forest
& Bird, Greenpeace and ECO.
They are all concerned about the decline of many fish stocks in
New Zealand waters, and are calling on Fisheries Minister Phil
Heatley to take urgent action to return the marine environment and
fisheries to good health.
This week they met Mr Heatley to ask him to take a more holistic
and cautious fisheries management approach.
The groups are troubled by the Government's strategic vision for
fisheries - Fisheries 2030 - which Mr Heatley is considering
"It ignores recreational and customary fishing and the
environment," says New Zealand Recreational Fishing Council
president Geoff Rowling. "It seems to be about deregulation and
putting money in the pockets of the commercial sector."
Fishing advocate group option4 spokesperson Trish Rea says we
must protect fisheries for current and future generations of Kiwis.
"It is scandalous the Ministry of Fisheries is allowing the
wholesale slaughter of coastal fisheries when most people want more
abundant fisheries and a healthier marine environment."
Forest & Bird marine conservation advocate Kirstie Knowles
is concerned about destructive fishing methods, such as bottom
trawling, that have a huge impact on the entire marine
"It is crucial that we recognise the bigger picture and take
action now to ensure our fisheries are managed without harming the
environment, our wildlife, other industries and interests," she
The alliance is calling for urgent action to restore our oceans
to a healthy and abundant state, with more fish in the water. The
- A more holistic approach to fisheries management that considers
the wider marine environment, interaction between species and
impacts such as climate change, land-based pollution and coastal
- Fish populations restored well above the current benchmark
level (known as the maximum sustainable yield) to decrease the risk
of decline or collapse of a fish stock.
- To get greater value from each fish caught by selective
fishing, correct handling, reducing wastage and using more of the
- To eliminate destructive fishing practices by supporting a
switch to alternative, more sustainable fishing practices.
- Greater use of selective fishing methods, seasonal and area
closures and revised size limits to help populations recover and to
protect juvenile and breeding fish.
- Adoption of environmental best practices to reduce captures of
seabirds, marine mammals and other sea life* *to raise the
environmental performance of our fisheries and our international
Greenpeace oceans campaigner Karli Thomas emphasises the common
ground between the organisations. "We all want to see a healthy
ocean and more fish in the water - that's good whether you're a
greenie, a fisherman or both."
NZ Big Game Fishing Council president Richard Baker is
optimistic that Mr Heatley will act on the alliance's concerns. "We
are hopeful the Minister will heed our call for a more cautious
management approach to be taken when considering our treasured
fisheries and the needs of future generations of New
The Hokianga Accord shares these sentiments. The iwi fisheries
forum's Ngapuhi spokesperson, Paul Haddon, says Mr Heatley is
obligated to have particular regard to kaitiakitanga (stewardship)
when managing fisheries. "Effective application of kaitiakitanga
will allow us to pass healthy fisheries on to our mokopuna
Alliance members are:
· Forest & Bird
· Hokianga Accord - mid north iwi fisheries forum
· New Zealand Big Game Fishing Council
· New Zealand Recreational Fishing Council
· Greenpeace Aotearoa - New Zealand
· Environment Conservation Organisations of Aotearoa New
· Guardians of Hawke Bay Fisheries
· New Zealand Angling and Casting Association
· Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ
· Marlborough Recreational Fishers Association
Other contacts: Contacts:
Kirstie Knowles, Forest & Bird, 04 801 2210 or 021 426 984/
Trish Rea, option4, 09 818 6205 or 027 4175 121/
Geoff Rowling, NZ Recreational Fishing Council, 027 4593 557/
Richard Baker, NZ Big Game Fishing Council, 021 869 889/
Karli Thomas, Greenpeace New Zealand, 021 905 582/
Barry Weeber, ECO, 021 738 807/
Paul Haddon, Ngapuhi spokesperson for Hokianga Accord, 09 401 9362