The Government opened consultation today on a new marine protection law which includes proposals for recreational fishing parks in the inner Hauraki Gulf & Marlborough Sounds.
The proposed Marine Protected Areas Act would replace the Marine Reserves Act 1971. Submissions on the discussion document, A new Marine Protected Areas Act, close on Friday 11 March.
Environment Minister Nick Smith said: “We are proposing a new system of marine protection that will include marine reserves, species-specific sanctuaries, seabed reserves & recreational fishing parks. This more sophisticated approach, with 4 different types of marine protection, is similar to the graduated approach we take to reserves on land, that vary from strict nature reserves to those for a specific or recreational purpose.
“We want to improve community & iwi involvement in marine protection and develop a comprehensive network of areas that better protects marine life and which enhances New Zealanders’ enjoyment of our marine environment.”
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said an estimated 870 tonnes of fish/year were caught in the proposed Hauraki park and 139 tonnes/year in the proposed Marlborough Sounds park. “We also need to recognise that a growing population, more recreational boats and technology like fish finders is putting greater pressure on the resource. These recreational fishing parks will enable recreational fishers to have a greater involvement in management decisions and more responsibility in ensuring sustainability.”
Attribution: Ministerial release.