Prime fishing areas in the Bay of Plenty have been targeted for closure and LegaSea along with local fishers are pushing back.
The closures of some reefs and islands in the area around Motiti are supported by the latest Court of Appeal decision.
The New Zealand Sport Fishing Council has registered as an “interested party” with the Bay of Plenty Regional Council in respect to any resource consent applications or planning processes within the coastal marine area of the Bay of Plenty that may affect recreational fishing interests.
This is in response to a High Court decision and Court of Appeal ruling acknowledging that Councils can use their powers under the Resource Management Act to protect or manage indigenous biodiversity in the coastal marine zone out to 12 nautical miles, in the Territorial Sea.
Despite the most recent decisions, the overlap between the Resource Management Act and Fisheries Act provisions still need to be clarified. Meantime, we have to gear up and be prepared to participate in the BOP Council’s processes.
Local NZ Sport Fishing Council representatives will engage as required to provide constructive feedback on any proposals that may impact on recreational fishing interests.
The NZSFC has also requested a position on the Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s Scientific Advisory Group that is scoping out the baseline and ongoing monitoring requirements to meet the conditions specified in a related Environment Court decision.
Public access and the ability to fish in our marine environment is essential for our collective wellbeing. Any proposals for closures must be widely consulted and generate meaningful discussion if they are to get public buy-in. So far this process doesn’t meet these criteria.
Warren Maher – Tairua lifestyler
Warren Maher loves his fishing. So much that he has volunteered to be the delegate for the Coromandel fishing clubs affiliated to the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council. This means he advocates for the fishing interests of local club members and the wider community. This year Warren was appointed as the Bay of Plenty representative on the NZSFC Board. Most often this involves attending meetings to talk about fisheries issues when the sun is shining and the fish are biting. True dedication from Warren and his Fishing Council colleagues.
Warren’s first introduction to fishing was as a child growing up in Taupo. He was taught to fly fish by his Pop. Warren spent days exploring the lake front, Waikato River and up the back of the Waitahanui River with his mates. Christmas holidays meant regular trips to Plummer’s Point campground where freshwater fishing gave way to the more exciting wharf and sea fishing. Warren now lives in Tairua and balances his life between family, work, fishing and diving.