Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Money over protection gets the nod from MoF

This news is interesting...

"Otago Harbour will be opened for the commercial harvesting of cockles for the first time in 30 years following a decision to grant a special research permit to a Dunedin fishing company."

"The Ministry of Fisheries confirmed yesterday it had granted a special permit to Southern Clams to carry out research trials on commercial cockle-fishing in the middle banks of the harbour near Port Chalmers.

The permit had been issued for three years, with a possible two-year extension, allowing for 650 tonnes of Southern Clams' 1140-tonne annual quota."

And what do local maori think about this?

"Yesterday's announcement disappointed one of the men behind a proposed Otago Harbour mataitai, which would exclude commercial fishing.

Otakou runanga project manager Hoani Langsbury said "we are unhappy with the decision", declining to comment further until the runanga had discussed the development.

It is understood Southern Clams would be exempt from any mataitai and would be able to fish the area during the permitted period."

So maori want to create a mataitai to protect the ecosystem within harbour but commercial (research) interests have won out.

"Speaking from France last night, Southern Clams director Roger Belton said he was "delighted" with the ministry's decision...

If the mataitai was granted, he hoped any future decision on commercial fishing would be made by the ministry rather than the local runanga."

I disagree with belton. I think the local runanga is exactly the right place for decisions to be made regarding commercial fishing in/around and near mataitai.


Anonymous said...

Think you are wrong here. There is a sustainable economic opportunity for the Runanga Belton has been fishing cockles in Blueskin Bay for years, all sustainably - have seen three of the independent reports.
A better option would have been a Taipure . This allows discreet areas species to ring fenced if necessary In Blueskin Bay there is a Taipure . Currently there is a ban on taking paua for example . Both these regulations are great but thought needs into what is appropriate.

Marty Mars said...

Kia ora anon,

Good points raised.

Does the runanga get an income now from any of the aquaculture or are you saying that there is a potential future opportunity for income from the commercial operation in the harbour?

It might be sorted after the foreshore and Seabed is sorted. :)

I'm not on the ground down there so i'm not sure why the mataitai was applied for instead of a taipure.

It is interesting to note a difference between them though:

The Tangata Kaitaki/Tiaki can propose bylaws regulating fishing in a Mataitai (species, quantities, size, fishing methods, areas); and these must be approved by the Minister. A taipure committee can recommend regulations under the Fisheries Act 1996 are promulgated, and the Minister may implement those recommendations.

The taipure regulations are required to treat people equally as no person can be refused access to or required to leave or cease to use any taiapure-local fishery because of the colour, race, or ethnic or national origins of that person or of any relative or associate of that person. (s185(5)).

I don't really know what to make of that anon, what do you think?