10 Aug 2013

Three-snapper fishing limit 'unlikely' to be imposed

8:52 am on 10 August 2013

The Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy, is backing away from the most extreme option for reducing snapper limits for recreational fishers.

The ministry is considering either limiting snapper catches from nine snapper bigger than 27 centimetres to three; increasing the allowable size to 35 centimetres; or a combination of the two.

But recreational fishers are outraged and Mr Guy says he is getting a lot of feedback from other National MPs about what their constituents are saying. He concedes that what he calls the most extreme proposal of a limit of three snapper is unlikely to go ahead.

Mr Guy says a final decision will be made before 1 October, which is when the next fishing season begins.

The director of Auckland's The Red Boats fishing charter says a reduction in the daily limit would be likely to result in loss of a significant number of jobs at companies like his.

Andrew Somers says paying to go out on a charter is the only way some families can afford to eat fresh snapper, but if the most a person could catch was reduced to three fish, it would not be economical. He says the changes would mean fresh snapper becomes food for the rich.