Editorial: Fishery needs saving

By Dylan Thorne


It's obvious now that some urgency is required if we wish to preserve snapper stocks in our region.

Alarming statistics released last week indicate the fishery in the Bay has collapsed.

The ministry earlier said snapper stock in the Bay of Plenty/Hauraki Gulf was 19 per cent of the original size of the fishery but a breakdown of the area, published in the 2013 Fisheries Assessment, showed the Bay of Plenty was now at 6 per cent of its original size. The odds of catching a decent-sized snapper in the Bay appear pretty slim.

Not only that, if nothing is done to preserve this valuable resource, there could be nothing left for future generations.

Our coastline is one of the region's outstanding features. Little wonder then that locals are drawn to water activities such as fishing. It is one of the perks of living in the Western Bay and one most would be anxious to preserve.

Government plans to help preserve fish stocks from over-fishing have so far been met with resistance.

Debate has focused on the proposal to lower the daily bag limit from nine snapper per person to just three but with no corresponding cut for commercial fishers.

As I have noted before: this is unfair.

Given the dire predictions for the Bay's snapper fishery, it would also appear to be well short of the action required to conserve what is left, let alone increase stocks. Restrictions on commercial fishing in the Bay also need to be considered.

It is in the best of interests of all that something is done quickly to rectify the situation.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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