A new draft plan for the long-term management of the snapper one (SNA1) fishery has been released which covers the Hauraki Gulf, Bay of Plenty and the east coast of Northland. The draft plan was devised by the SNA1 Strategy Group, comprising customary, recreational and commercial fishers.
This Plan sets out a series of recommendations for managing the fishery and has a strong focus on improving fishing practices, minimising waste, and gathering accurate information. The Plan is about maximising the benefits for everyone, and the only way to do that is to work together constructively. It is very pleasing to see all sectors working together for the first time on the shared goal of rebuilding and protecting one of the most popular and valuable fisheries in New Zealand.
The group is comprised of representatives from customary, recreational and commercial fishing sectors, there are also alternates and representatives from the Ministry of Primary Industries. The independent chair of the group, Sir Ian Barker QC, says there is already evidence of substantial rebuilding of abundance in the fishery, which stretches from east cape to the top of the north island. It is important that we look to continue building on the current positive growth in the fisheries which is why this plan is vital.
Recommendations from the plan include an aim to achieve a biomass target of 40% of the unfished state by 2040, with an intermediate checkpoint of 30% by 2025, the undertaking of a snapper tagging survey to estimate biomass later this year, regular monitoring of the status of the fishery to ensure it is on course to reach targets and timeframes and education for all fishers on ways to avoid catching juvenile fish and how to increase survival rates of released snapper.
Our local and national fisheries are important to a wide range of people for many different reasons, many of whom want different things. The main goal is to ensure that there are enough fish in the water for future and current generations.
Following the drop in sessions that took place earlier this month, the Group will review the recommendations and put advice to the Minister to consider in future decision making. For more information please go on the Ministry for Primary Industries website.