Two recreational fishing parks proposed

The Government announced:

The Government has today launched a consultation document on a new Marine Protected Areas Act to replace the Act 1971 that includes proposals for recreational fishing parks in the inner Hauraki Gulf and Marlborough Sounds.

“We are proposing a new system of marine protection that will include marine reserves, species-specific sanctuaries, seabed reserves, and recreational fishing parks. This more sophisticated approach with four different types of marine protection is similar to the graduated approach we take to reserves on land that vary from strict nature reserves to those for a specific or recreational purpose,” says Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith.

A more graduated approach is very sensible, rather than just a binary system of total protection vs no protection.

I’m a big fan of marine reserves and the like, because they have a very different impact to the same status on land.

When you declare an area of land off limits for commercial activity, then there is an economic cost to that. the minerals and resources in that land can never be utilized. So you need to consider the benefits vs the costs.

But with marine sanctuaries and the like, it doesn’t mean there is less fish to be caught. To the contrary it can mean that over time there will be more fish available. Unlike minerals, fish do not stay in the one area. So restricting fishing in particular areas doesn’t necessarily mean a decline in economic activity.

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