Thursday, 12 November 2009


We think this is an inspired move by the Minister of Fisheries. Phil Heatley. Previous Minister Jim Anderton was captured by his officials and put in a blanket ban on blue cod, a moved that stunned the seafood sector.
Heatley has been willing to listen to the well reasoned arguments of both the recreational fishermen and others who have convinced him the ban was a crock. However Heatley is a smart bugger . He is obviously ensuring that the recreationalists are a little bit more engaged in the management of the blue cod fishery.

A group of local stakeholders has been working with the Ministry of Fisheries on a management plan that will rebuild the fishery while allowing for a managed recreational harvest.

“Advice from the group tells me good progress has been made towards a possible partial or full reopening of the fishery in the 2010/11 summer season,” Mr Heatley said.

New scientific research is under way that will inform the decision on when and how to reopen the fishery.

As announced in March, the Blue Cod Management Group is working toward delivering a plan that:

• will see the fishery opening sooner than the four years, either wholly or partially;
• is easy for fishers to understand, and practical for them to use;
• is straight forward for Ministry of Fisheries officers to police;
• requires some form of recreational catch reporting, so success can be monitored.

Its a good example of all interests working together for a common goal. And its the last point that is a quantum leap forward by recreational interests - catch reporting. Good data means good management.

Well done him. The recreational sector is well over due to take more responsibility for fisheries management . For too long it has been all take no responsibility.

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