New report could change face of recreational fishing


A recent fishing report makes recommendations that would change the face of recreational fishing in New Zealand.

The Future Catch, a report led by The New Zealand Initiative, suggests compulsory fishing licences and potentially eliminating minimum size restrictions for some fish – including snapper. The licences are suggested to allow future generations to fish. 

Recreation fishing advocacy group LegaSea has dismissed the controversial report, arguing that the recommendations are intended to privatise the public interest.  

NZ Initiative research fellow and Report author Dr Randall Bess and LegaSea spokesperson Scott Macindoe join The AM Show to discuss the report.  

“It’s a major distraction for us as we strive to fix these broken fisheries,” says Mr Macindoe.

“In their opinion, the public interest needs to be better managed,” he says of the people behind the report. “Really, they are saying privatised.”

Dr Bess defends the report, saying that “recreational fishers just don’t get what they deserve.”

“We have to see a recreational licence as something that benefits fishers,” he says. “If it’s simply a tax to generate more revenue – well, no one is interested in that.”

Earlier on The AM Show, Bill English describes the report as “bold”.

“We’re not going to rush to a conclusion on it,” Mr English says. 

Watch the full interview with Dr Randall Bess and Scott Macindoe above.

The AM Show with Duncan Garner, Amanda Gillies and Mark Richardson, weekdays 6-9am on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.