14 Jun 2013

Minister changing rules says paua group

5:43 pm on 14 June 2013

A recreational fishing group is accusing the Minister for Primary Industries of changing the rules after putting off a decision on plans to open up 33km of Southland coastline to commercial paua fishing.

Nathan Guy won't make a decision until later this year and is hoping a compromise can be reached before then.

The group, Paua to the People, says it seems like the Minister is giving the paua industry more time to make a better case.

Recreational divers and others made 2,700 submissions against opening up four paua fishing areas in Otago and Southland for commercial fishing. There were just 22 submissions in support.

Group spokesperson Hamish Forrester says the paua population will be decimated if commercial fishing is allowed, and Mr Guy has all the infomation he needs to make a decision now.