Update on the Conservation Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill
The Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Bill has reported back from Parliament's Environment Committee today in a much better shape, which Fish & Game New Zealand can now support.
"I wish to note my appreciation for the constructive way the Select Committee, Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage and the Department of Conservation engaged with Fish & Game during the Select Committee process of the Bill," Fish & Game New Zealand Chief Executive Martin Taylor says.
"By working together, we have now addressed most of the potentially negative impacts on Fish & Game's interests and the sports fishery we manage on behalf of all New Zealanders.
"Consequently, we are now able to support the Bill.
"Fish & Game shares the goal of protecting and promoting indigenous freshwater fish conservation. New Zealand's indigenous fish would be far worse off if Fish & Game did not advocate vigorously for freshwater fish habitat over the last 20 years.
"Fish & Game has bought, built and restored many wetlands. It has spent millions of dollars fighting for and winning Water Conservation Orders, opposing environmentally hostile resource consents and Regional Plans, and exposing intensive agriculture's adverse environmental effects. This has benefited all fish in New Zealand's freshwaters."
Fish & Game were concerned that the Bill would, among other things, give DOC freshwater management plans priority over Fish & Game plans; altered restrictions on the taking, possessing or selling of sports fish under Treaty settlements; and reduced Fish & Game's right to be consulted over the introduction or release of fish.
Thanks to Fish & Game’s strong advocacy, two of the three concerns have been removed from the Bill. While the Treaty clause has remained, we are confident that with further advocacy; this clause will not impact on our sports fishery in the future.
"Fish & Game represents the 110,000 anglers and 40,000 game bird hunters. We committed to delivering on our statutory goal of managing the sports fishery for the benefit of all New Zealanders, now and into the future."