16 Jun 2013

Snapper cuts shouldn't fall only on recreational fishers, says council

8:54 am on 16 June 2013

The Sport Fishing Council says it would not accept reductions in recreational catch limits for snapper if this simply propped up commercial fishing company quotas.

The Ministry for Primary Industries will begin consultation next month on changes to regulations for snapper fishing in the Hauraki Gulf, eastern Northland and Bay of Plenty.

The ministry says snapper stocks have increased by 70% in the past 15 to 25 years because of catch limits, but are still only about half the current management target.

The Sport Fishing Council says it would accept a cut in the current recreational limit of nine fish per person to help rebuild stocks.

However, it says it would strongly oppose any increase in commercial catch limits, because it sees no benefit in selling fish overseas which could be feeding New Zealanders instead.

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy is asking recreational fishers to avoid jumping to conclusions about what changes the Government will make to the limits.