MPI coy on Snapper 1 decision date
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is remaining tight lipped over the Snapper 1 decision.
After a fierce campaign by fishing bodies, including NZ Fishing World, against the proposals to reduce recreational fishos’ daily bag limits to as little as three per day, there has been little comment from the MPI.
This lack of communication from the ministry will likely leave many fishos nervous.
The public consultation period closed on August 23. In just six weeks there were around 50,000 submissions to the MPI objecting to the Snapper 1 proposals.
NZ Fishing World has repeatedly asked the ministry when the final decision will be announced but is yet to get a definitive answer.
In an emailed statement, an MPI spokeswoman said today (Tuesday, September 10): “Approximately 50,000 submissions have been received, around 1,500 of which have been individually submitted.
“Decisions on overall Total Allowable Catch limits need to be made ahead of the 1 October 2013/14 fishing year.
“The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has provided advice to the Minister, who will make his decision known ahead of the 1 October 2013/14 fishing year.
“Implementation timeframes will vary. If there are any changes to recreational controls these are not expected before 1 April 2014.”
The MPI had previously stated that any regulatory changes would come into effect on October 1.
A LegaSea spokeswoman said: "The only fair decision is for the minister to make a legal allowance for the people of New Zealand that reflects what we are actually catching and addressed the issue of commercial waste, that is now recognised as being a national disgrace.
"Any decision that increases commercial quota or changes our bag limits will be challenged at the highest level."
Thousands of fishers were left stunned by the MPI’s proposals when they were announced in late July.
All three proposals would see recreational anglers take substantial cuts to their bag limits – currently nine snapper per person per day in Snapper 1 – whilst commercial quotas would remain largely unchanged.
In one of the proposals, the commercial quota would increase.
The Snapper 1 fishery covers the area from the Bay of Plenty to North Cape on New Zealand’s east coast.