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Waikato Regional Coastal Plan needs your response. “Think long-term, think about the best way to get there.”
There definitely seems to be quite a bit of diversity, if not controversy, over the Waikato Regional Coastal Plan and proposed changes to the area. Reading through comments and the actual proposals, there also seems to be quite a bit of misinformation and maybe to a degree, misguidance.
Before making assumptions and lighting the torches here is the site you need to look at: https://yourvoicematters.waikatoregion. govt.nz/waikato-regional-coastal-planreview.
Whether I support the proposals or not, I do think it’s important for everyone to understand, that these are just that - proposals. As absurd as some of these proposals are to some (and yes, I agree, there are some doozies), these are subjects open to everyone for discussion.
I ask myself….
Do I want a sustainable fisheries? Yes, I do.
Do I want our marine environment and coasts protected ? Yes, I do.
Do I want commercial fin fish operators to fish and little further out? To be honest, I don’t care. I haven’t seen any evidence, in five seasons as a charter operator, that fish stocks have declined (and we are a fishing town).
Do I want to see our immediate area protected from overfishing and illegal fishing? Absolutely. Can I see closing off additional areas as marine reserves beneficial? Well, to be frank, not really. Can I see an amendment to daily-take limits on fish in our region, beneficial long term? Yes, I can.
Comments have been made regarding MPI (Fisheries) as being the preferred authority for operating and maintaining proposed reserves. Well, MPI doesn’t currently manage the existing reserves. These are managed by DOC (Department of Conservation). I can’t see DOC successfully managing any additional reserves (they are simply spread too thin). They struggle to maintain the current reserve we have now. How do I know this? Because I spend a significant amount of time on the water transitioning through the reserve, either on my Charter Boat, Waka Kai, or on the local Coastguard Rescue Boat, and I can tell you all that the amount of vessels I have stopped alongside and spoken to, fishing in the reserve (through ignorance or not), is somewhat significant.
Can WRC (Waikato Regional Council) manage additional marine reserves? Possibly, they have more maritime staff and resources than DOC or MPI in our region.
So maybe we take a breath and really think about how we can collectively have a collaborative say on these proposals. Let’s think long term. Let’s think sustainability. Let’s think resourcefulness.
Let’s think about the best way to get there. Input is invited to help identify where and how we should protect areas of historical, cultural and biodiversity value within the coastal marine area. Go to the website mentioned above.
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