18 Jun 2013

Trust says catch limit review will affect customary rights

6:35 pm on 18 June 2013

Te Ohu Kaimoana (the Maori Fisheries Trust) says Maori customary rights to snapper will be affected by an upcoming review of catch limits.

Although snapper numbers have increased in the past 20 years because of catch limits, the Ministry for Primary Industries says they are not rising fast enough and overfishing is occurring.

A six-week consultation process will begin in July on how snapper can regenerate quickly in Northland and Bay of Plenty.

Te Ohu Kaimoana chief executive Peter Douglas said that if the Government decides to cut the catch quota, it will affect Maori commercial and recreational fishing.

However, he said the impact should not be too drastic, because snapper is just one of the many species that Maori fish commercially.

Mr Douglas said catch limits need to strike a balance between commercial interests and environmental sustainability.