Motiti Island’s fisheries are at risk as local councils now have the power to apply fishing bans wherever they see fit, National’s Fisheries spokesperson Ian McKelvie says.

“This comes off the back of the Court of Appeal ruling in favour of environmentalists on Motiti Island.

“National has launched a petition requesting the Government change the law to ensure this does not happen, and that any discussions on future fishing around the Motiti Island reefs involve wider consultation with recreational fishers, iwi, Motiti whanau and the wider Bay of Plenty community.

“These powers should remain the prerogative of central government and the Minister needs to intervene to ensure this remains the case.

“One of our great privileges is the ability to get out on the water and put a line out. We need to carefully reconsider any rulings that prevent this from occurring.

“The National Party accepts the need to carefully preserve all forms of marine biodiversity in a sustainable and practical manner. But decisions that are going to affect our recreational and commercial fishers so severely should be made with appropriate thought and caution.

“To support the rights of recreational and commercial fishers I encourage you to sign the petition.”

Petition can be found here

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