Could the Bay be the least skilled fishing region in the country?

That’s the alternative scenario floated by BayBuzz following Hawke’s Bay Today’s lead on Monday “Bay’s fish stocks hit rock bottom”.

In the article, Hawke’s Bay Game Fishing Club member Colin Murray said anecdotal evidence suggested a “frightening drop” in stock numbers across a range of popular species. Mr Murray spent more than 170 hours over the past two years collecting catch data from recreational fishermen.

Napier MP Chris Tremain also bought into the club’s low stock argument, and said there were particularly strong concerns about groper fish stocks off the Lachlan Banks, in the deep waters out from the bay. “Fishermen going to the banks are coming back empty-handed and this is a real concern,” Mr Tremain said.

Could it be – given the anecdotal nature of the evidence – the said fishermen just suck?

Mark

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2 Comments

  1. MARK To answer your question "Could it be – given the anecdotal nature of the evidence – the said fishermen just suck?"

    Well yes they do ! They have sucked the fish out of the sea in ever increasing numbers. In just 5 years the {& I hate this term} 'recreational fishing' fleet has increased by 100%.

    Put that together with 'commercial' fishermen, not just from this area but those from further afield holding quota in this areas management area, also sucking fish out and the picture gets really sad.

    I am one of the environmental Reps. of the so-called Guardians of Hawke's Bay committee, but have stopped going to meetings because of one of the representatives of commercial fishing sectors bad behaviour [ I feel one day he will 'thump me'] and his insistence that 'fish stocks have never been so abumndant as they are under the QMS system" is holding up progress. Until 'everyone' accepts they are part of the problem then no-one can be part of the solution. There are some really good people on the committee, including fishermen [both commercial and amateur] BUT until we all face reality nothing will happen but acrimonious arguements and bickering.

    This group needs a professional facilitation and an independant chairperson. Given little or no funding or committement of funding from 'stakeholders' I feel I am better off getting on with my reefball project with college children at Te Mahia.

    Has anyone noticed the trawlers are staying closer in-shore and again hammering the inshore species? The increase in fuel has a lot to do with that. Speaking to one fisherman returning from a trip it is clear stocks are getting seriously depleated. What took 6 days for 11 tonnes of fish a few years ago has turned into an 11 day trip to catch 6 tonnes of fish. Notice the law of deminishing returns. At this rate small scale , and hitherto sustainable, operators will be driven out of fishing. In their place will be a few big operators who simply tell their skippers to "go catch my quota by what ever means necessary or find another job".

    It is not so long a go a large company was facing over a 100 fisheries charges for 'breaking the rules'. It leads me to observe that 'some' commercial fishermen are, greedy, criminal and stupid. Indeed some of these men are millionaires. Maybe if I keep up my comments i might even end up with a couple of broken legs!

    So Mark I think I can safely agree 'some-significant' fishermen do indeed suck!

    Cheers

    Dave

  2. You might have more chance of catching a blind eel by casting your line in one of the many holes in the roads of Napier City.

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