Our plan to remove bottom trawling
from the Gulf
This year we have the opportunity to make an impact on the recovery of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. The new Hauraki Gulf Fisheries Plan is currently in development and will put up for public consultation (or input) later this year.
Currently the plan allows bottom trawling and scallop dredging to continue in the Gulf. But if we put enough public pressure on David Parker, the Minister of Oceans and Fisheries, he can change the plan to remove them from the Gulf once and for all.
After hundreds of volunteer hours by multiple interest groups and representatives, the Hauraki Gulf Forum published the Sea Change plan in 2017. It was a collaborative, bold effort to improve the life supporting capacity of the natural systems in the Gulf, if implemented in full. No cherry-picking.
The government’s latest plan, Revitalising the Gulf, is a piecemeal response to Sea Change, clinging to fishing practices known to destroy habitats and impact on climate change, while maintaining catches of fish at historic levels. Commercial scallop dredging is allowed to continue while recreational dredging is banned. Bottom trawling can continue in soon-to-be-defined ‘trawl corridors’.
This is at odds with the original Sea Change proposal, which removed them outright from the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. The Ministry for Primary Industries has seen fit to ignore the Sea Change recommendations to remove them, despite the public’s clear and extensive opposition to them.
Trawl corridors in the hauraki gulf marine park
The Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Fisheries Plan has been approved by the Minister. Fisheries NZ is now consulting on the Trawl zones with submissions due with FNZ by 6 November. FNZ has proposed 4 options for specific trawl zones in the Marine Park. Trawl zone options here.
Despite our repeated requests, FNZ has not included an option to ban all trawling, dredging and Danish seining in the Marine Park even though this is the prime opportunity to change the rules. What is required for the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park?Option Zero – total ban on trawling, dredging and Danish seining. A separate fisheries management area with lower catch limits applying, so commercial fishing effort doesn’t just shift into waters around Northland, Coromandel and Bay of Plenty. Meaningful commitment and action by FNZ to address overfishing, depletion and the use of destructive, mobile, bottom contact fishing methods in our Marine Park.
Please get on board and make a submission now!
Sign the petition
Thank you to the 36,000 people that signed the petition. It has been presented to Parliament for consideration.