INDEPENDENT NEWS

Angler's Federation Attacks DoC's Charges

Published: Tue 2 Oct 2001 12:01 AM
The New Zealand Federation of Freshwater Anglers, a national association of recreational fishermen, attacked the Department of Conservation today for its practice of charging concession fees for using freshwater fisheries within the DoC estate. Describing the practice as 'blatant money-grabbing', the Federation's President Alan McMillan said "we believe that DoC has no business in either providing for the fishery, or in charging for access to it. We also believe that they are in breech of their own regulations, viz, section 26ZN of the Conservation Act".
Mr McMillan explained that it was the responsibility of NZ Fish & Game to manage the recreational fishery, both inside and outside the DoC estate, with the exception of the Taupo fishery. Currently DoC was charging commercial operators a concession fee for fishing within its estate. "We are fundamentally opposed to this practice" he said, "and we believe that abhorrence is enshrined in DoC's own legislation. It also appears that there is absolutely no control exercised by DoC on the issuing of such concessions, nor is there any monitoring of compliance with them. It simply appears to be a revenue gathering exercise."
"NZ Fish & Game is responsible for managing the recreational fishery" said Mr McMillan "and we have no problem with them charging anglers by way of a licence to do so. Fish and Game are also charged with licensing guides and commercial operators, again to fund fisheries management and protection." "It appears that DoC is trying to 'double-dip' on existing government policies and practices" he added.
The Federation is holding talks with Fish & Game, Public Access NZ, and the Department of Conservation on the subject.
ENDS.
Contact: Alan McMillan President New Zealand Federation of Freshwater Anglers, (Inc.) Haggart Street , Wingatui R.D.2. Mosgiel

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