INDEPENDENT NEWS

Proposed whitebait rules are pitiful, won’t save native fish

Published: Tue 14 Jan 2020 05:27 PM
Forest & Bird is calling on New Zealanders to demand better regulations for the endangered native fish that make up the whitebait catch.
A public consultation document proposing changes to whitebait fishing rules was released today by the Department of Conservation.
“The options put forward are pitiful and won’t do enough to protect our native endangered fish,” says Forest & Bird Freshwater Advocate, Annabeth Cohen.
“We have a chance to protect whitebait right now. There must be a catch limit, licence and data on how much fish is caught and where.”
“Why these options aren’t in the proposed changes makes no sense. All other species commercially fished have a catch limit. Why should whitebait be any different? We are talking about endangered native fish, some of which are found nowhere else in the world.”
“The Department of Conservation says they don’t have the resources to enforce a catch limit, which is a pathetic excuse. A licencing system could easily include a small fee to fund enforcement.”
“These fish are an important part of the cultural fabric of New Zealand. We need better rules around whitebait fishing to ensure these precious fish are here for future generations.”
“Rebuilding damaged and destroyed habitat for whitebait fish to grow up into thriving adult populations is the long-game. Basic fishing rules is what we need now, and they are long overdue. Whitebait regulations haven’t changed for over 20 years, meanwhile four of six whitebait fish species are in decline.”
“Continuing to catch and sell these threatened animals, with no catch limits, licence or data, could be the final nail in the coffin."
In a Department of Conservation survey last year, nearly 80% of respondents said they’d like to see a catch limit and 60% said they’d support a fishing licence.”
“We encourage the public to write a submission and go to their local public meeting. We must demand at the very least a licence, catch limit and data on what is being fished and where.”
Our native fish
Kōaro (at risk - declining), shortjaw kōkopu (threatened - nationally vulnerable), banded kōkopu, giant kōkopu (at risk - declining) and īnanga (at risk - declining) are the five migratory galaxiid fish in the whitebait catch. Common smelt is also a native fish that is part of the whitebait catch.
The Conservation status of New Zealand freshwater fishes 2017 lists the threat status of New Zealand’s freshwater fish.

Next in New Zealand politics

On Where The Politically-donated Bucks Should Be Stopping
By: Gordon Campbell
Govt Acts On Fuel Market Competition
By: New Zealand Government
18,400 Children Lifted Out Of Poverty
By: New Zealand Government
On Our Unreal Optimism About The Economic Impact Of Coronavirus
By: Gordon Campbell
Statement From National Party
By: New Zealand National Party
SFO Confirms Receipt Of Police File On Christchurch Mayor
By: Serious Fraud Office
Statement Of Jami-lee Ross - "Spoke Up Now Set Up"
By: Jami-Lee Ross
Foreign donation loophole still wide open
By: Jami-Lee Ross
No Place For Dirty Politics In Fisheries
By: Our Seas Our Future
Transparency International warns need for political funding reform is urgent
By: RNZ
Man Charged Over National Party Donations Planned To Go To Party's Candidate College
By: RNZ
Jacinda Ardern Tries To Soothe Virus Rift With China
By: RNZ
Coronavirus: Expert Warns More Flights Could Be Cancelled
By: RNZ
National Party Donations Case: 'I Am Now Being Painted As The Scapegoat' - Jami-Lee Ross
By: RNZ
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media