The threat to trout posed by the Bill

WHAT ARE THE THREATS TO TROUT AND ANGLING IN THE INDIGENOUS FRESHWATER FISH AMENDMENT BILL?

The Amendment Bill seeks to provide better protection for indigenous freshwater fish.

These fish species include whitebait, also known as galaxids, eels, bullies, torrent fish, mud fish and others.

The full detail of the amendment bill can be found here

http://www.legislation.govt.nz/bill/government/2018/0087/latest/LMS73110.html

Fish & Game supports efforts to provide better protection for indigenous freshwater fish.

However, that should not be at the expense of trout and other freshwater sports fish, nor the more than hundred thousand anglers who value these fish for the recreational, cultural and economic benefits they provide.

The Amendment Bill as it is now written contains several aspects which pose a threat to trout fishing in New Zealand.

Clause 5:

  • Clause 5 gives DoC’s freshwater fisheries management plans priority over Fish & Game’s fish and game management plans.
  • Clause 5 allows the Minister to adopt a national freshwater fisheries management plan which prevails over Fish & Game management plans.
  • This is despite both plans having the same legal status under the Act.
  • Clause 5 would allow DoC to remove all trout and salmon from particular rivers or lakes, even if those waterways have been identified as significant trout and salmon habitat. This is likely to result in catchments where DoC, Iwi and regional councils can establish management regimes which exclude trout.
  • The Bill reduces Fish & Game’s right to be consulted as managers of sports fish to the same level as any member of the public.

Clause 6:

  • Clause 6 exempts anyone authorised under Treaty settlement legislation from restrictions on taking, possessing or selling sportsfish.
  • Clause 6 allows the Crown and iwi to set aside present rules as part of a treaty settlement.
  • Clause 6 allows the removal of present bans on the sale of fishing rights.
  • Clause 6 allows the removal of present bans on the sale of sports fish.
  • Clause 6 removes the requirement for occupiers of land to comply with trout fishing rules and regulations, although they would still need a licence.
  • Clause 6 opens up the potential for direct conflict between Treaty settlement legislation and sports fishing.

 

Clause 17:

  • Clause 17 revokes several existing regulations allowing Fish & Game to manage trout and other sports fish.
  • In particular, Clause 17 would no longer require a Fish & Game region’s consent for the release of fish or ova, or transfer of sports fish and ova between the North and South Islands.
  • The Bill reduces Fish & Game’s right to be consulted as managers of sports fish to the same level as any member of the public.

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