Both Barrels June 2023
The biggest threat to hunting and fishing is legislative changes. And there are some very serious threats on the horizon.
I know your eyes are probably starting to glaze over but there is a small minority of individuals and lobby groups out there that make a lot of noise and the politicians appear to listen to a lot of noise.
Apathy amongst the majority of us has meant, and will result in, the burgeoning number of stupid rules and regulations, preventing the average New Zealander from doing what they enjoy.
A rewriting of the Resource Management Act (RMA) is first in line. I know the RMA has become cumbersome and it takes ages for anything to happen, but it has also meant Fish & Game has been able to advocate for the habitat of trout and salmon.
Above Right: Fish & Game uses mallard & grey duck banding to calculate population size and monitor the effects of regulations on annual survival.
This has been paramount in the push to clean up rivers and lakes. You can have your say or just enter your name and email address to support the retention of these provisions (protection of trout and salmon) in the new Natural and Built Environment Bill (NBEA) at this website:
The Wildlife Act is also up for review. Fish & Game and hunters have been responsible for the protection of many of New Zealand’s remaining wetlands.
In fact, hunters and Fish & Game have been the key players in this arena forever in New Zealand.
I imagine there will be a major push by some groups to do away with Fish & Game despite the huge public good this organisation does and has done.
Currently, there is a petition before Parliament to ban hunting native game birds (paradise shelduck, shoveler duck, grey duck, black swan and pukeko).
The thing is humans have been harvesting native species since the beginning of time.
And then there are the others that want to get rid of introduced species such as the mallard and trout.
Why single out those species I don’t know. Man has altered the landscape wherever he has tread, we just have to accept this and move on. By all means, try and protect New Zealand’s unique biodiversity but we need to accept that our landscape is forever changed. We need to manage our unique country within its existing framework. To do otherwise means getting rid of all the introduced species including sheep, cows, grass, and how about humans?
For those that still have bands please report them at report your duck bands or give your local Fish & Game office a call. You can hang on to the band if you wish just let us know where and when you shot the banded bird. There are some great prizes to be won too (check out the link above). For those that have already sent in their band and haven’t had a response from us yet – sorry it has been bedlam here and am making my way through the list slowly.
Matthew McDougall, Eastern Fish and Game