Forest & Bird are calling out “deeply disappointing” and gaping holes regarding bottom trawling in a proposed fisheries management plan for the Hauraki Gulf.

Fisheries New Zealand released the draft Hauraki Gulf Fisheries plan for public consultation on 17 January, and submissions close on 3 March. Director of Fisheries Management Emma Taylor says this is one of the key long-term fisheries in the Government’s Revitalising the Gulf strategy, which seeks to restore the waiora and mauri of one of New Zealand’s most important marine environments.

Emma says the draft plan includes new approaches for managing Hauraki Gulf fisheries and aims for three outcomes focusing on; the environment, sustainable utilisation, and better governance. “It seeks to support sustainable fisheries and the recovery and protection of key habitats and species, as well as encouraging greater local input to strengthen fisheries management and support a healthier Gulf for generations to come.” 

The proposed plan includes removing bottom trawl and “Danish seine” fishing, or anchor seine fishing, except within limited ‘trawl corridors’. This will be subject to further consultation by the middle of the year. It will also address scallop fisheries management, looking to restore depleted stock in the area to the previous abundance. It will review intertidal harvesting practices and look at how to support greater mana whenua and regional participation in fisheries management. Emma says these proposals are all part of an underlying commitment to an ecosystems-based approach. “We recognise that all species in the fishery are connected and interdependent and this is reflected in the plan.”

 • Liza Hamilton

Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!

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