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Federation working hard on future management regime

It has been a busy time for the Federation over the past months as we get our heads around electronic reporting and now, the recently released consultation document Your Fisheries – Your Say.

Doug Saunders-Loder

We are working closely with Fisheries Inshore NZ (FINZ) and other SREs to develop a meaningful submission on the future of our fisheries management regime. There are major problems with MPI’s understanding of the practical side of our business and the extent to what advice it might take.

It’s interesting that the consultation document allows anyone the opportunity of providing an opinion in respect of commercial fishing, particularly when the authors themselves lack the necessary understanding of the business. This document is not about managing our fisheries – it seeks to manage us, and our fear is that everyone with a view on commercial fishing based on poor education or understanding gets to provide their opinion, regardless.

That said, we have presented our case strongly.

We will continue to engage with MPI and work to streamline the system.

The industry has needed more meaningful engagement on the matter of managing” returns to the sea” (amongst other issues) for 30 years. This is at least an opportunity to do that, but the number of calls I have had over the past weeks relating to the submission document and the poorly-constructed line of questioning has been astronomical.

The Federation has supported the industry view that seeks better managing of landings and returns to the sea based on a landscape of improved electronic reporting and monitoring. Whilst we strongly support the need for the use of increased technology we remain concerned about MPI’s lack of attention to detail and the silence that surrounds industry concerns about cost and the security of intellectual property.

In other news, we have been working with MNZ to develop a more closely aligned working group charged with resolving a number of practical issues that affect fishermen in their everyday lives. Rationalisation of costs on annual charges for certain survey requirements, colour-blindness, engagement on delivery and cost of tickets and a dedicated push from the Federation in developing a series of safety awareness resources is also high on the agenda.

Make sure that you take the opportunity of registering for the Federation conference which this year, will be held in the Copthorne Hotel at Paihia in the Far North on May 30, with the AGM to follow the next day. There will be the regular partners’ programme on May 31, featuring a sightseeing bus trip for partners who don’t want to attend the AGM.

Registration will be on the NZ Federation of Commercial Fishermen webpage at www.nzfishfed. co.nz. Delegates will be directed to a dedicated registration page.

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