Gareth Morgan gives everyone a slap about fishing
Gareth makes some powerful points, and missed a few too.
I agree that we need more community involvement and awareness in fisheries management, and it is a a long slow process. Here in Kaikoura we have been meeting for 6 years with leaders from recreational, traditional and commercial fishers, conservation groups, and tourism and charter operators. It takes a long time, and a lot of misunderstandings to build understanding and awareness, and our group “Te Korowai o te tai o Marokura” (Kaikoura Coastal Guardians – http://www.teamkorowai.org ) has been doing that.
It is a slow process building awareness, and it challenges assumptions. One of those assumptions that has hit my focus is money ( more thoughts on that on my blog http://www.tedhowardnz.wordpress.com/money ) and I suspect Gareth and I could discuss that at some length.
Here in Kaikoura we have built an understanding between the different groups and aspirations in the community, and have delivered a draft plan for the coast, and it is an ongoing journey (see http://www.teamkorowai.org).
It seems to me that Gareth is too harsh on the Rec Fishing Council. I have been a member for several years, and see the same issues there as we face here in Kaikoura, with different mindsets, assumption sets, and understandings.
Having been around fisheries for over half a century, and having been an advisor to Colin Moyle in the 80s – I perhaps see a little more of the complexity involved, and the effort and outcomes achieved by many different groups.
And I agree with Gareth – we must do much more.
Recreational fishing needs a mechanism of funding its own advocacy.
There is a strong case to be made for central funding of recreational fishing science, and rec fishers need to step up and start accurately recording what they catch, where and when. There is no substitute for hard data.
However, no government is going to agree to centrally fund a political advocacy group that may oppose the government; and any advocacy group that managed to attract government funding would soon find it gone if they disagreed with the government of the day.
So it is a very complex situation, and in that complex situation, people like Keith Ingram, Sheryl Hart and Geoff Rowling have earned my respect for their commitment, their knowledge, and their perseverance. So too have people like Scott Macindoe, Trish Rea, John Holdsworth and Barry Torkington; even though we don’t always agree.
What we have found here in Kaikoura, is that it takes a lot of effort and commitment, a lot of time, and a lot of mistakes, to see that we mostly want much the same thing, we just have different ways of looking at it and talking about it.