The new Fisheries NZ Minister Stuart Nash has a difficult task ahead to try to rebuild the depleted stocks of our inshore fishery that were deliberately overfished by the National Party.
The new minister probably has worked out by now just how many of our fish stocks has been mismanaged by the previously corrupted MPI.
Every time Nathan Guy refused to cut commercial catch of depleted fish stocks because he didn't want to cause the commercial fishers financial hardship, he failed in his legal responsibility to maintain the fishery at its maximum sustainable level.
Nathan Guy should have been removed from office for this deliberate breach of the Fishery Act in the least; he should have been prosecuted because he even explained why he breached the act" so as not to impede the commercial fishers financially."
Nathan Guy should be rotting in a jail cell somewhere because it could take as long as sixty years for the damage done by him and the financially focused MPI to the wild fish stocks of NZ.
How do you fix an overfished fishery? The first thing everybody thinks you should do (including new fishery ministers) is put the quota of fish caught down. That is wrong and in fact the worst possible solution to a dwindling fish stock. The best example of what sort of disaster that is to the depleted fishery is what happened to Scottish commercial fishers in the North Sea.
They still caught exactly the same amount of Cod, only then they had to dump it over the side. If you are commercial fishing with such an archaic system as bottom trawling then you will still be as destructive to the fishery as you were before the quota was put down.
There are only two ways to rebuild a depleted fish stock, one is to stop fishing in that area, the other is to fish with a different method.
If the commercial harvesters fished with a square mesh that let the juveniles go on the bottom, then they would breed and the stock would rebuild. If the fishing areas were smaller, then the minister could shut those areas and the juvenile fish would grow and the stock would rebuild. The fishery minister in Scotland introduced a land all catch scheme and supported it with up to 12 surveillance cameras on the vessels.
This forced the commercial fishers to use a bigger square mesh called T90 that left the small juvenile fish on the seafloor un-caught and therefore able to breed and grow.
The Minister must introduce the surveillance cameras on commercial fishing vessels before he reduces the Quota or TACC/ ACE to avoid large-scale dumping and un-reporting of eatable quality fish.
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