There has always been a clear conflict of interest between MPI and customary fishers.
MPI is export focused and sees the fishery value in monetary export dollars. MPI was driven forward by a financial policy mandated to it to double the value of the exports by 2025.
This policy was applied to the wild fish harvesters of NZ who had little choice but to discard all caught fish of a lesser value to achieve this goal.
MPI turned a blind eye to the overfishing and under reporting from commercial fishers and the result was a deleted inshore fishery.
Worse still was the fact that MPI was in full legal defence of these unsustainable fishing practices.
It could be that MPI was in breach of its own requirement to provide for customary fishers under the Treaty of Waitangi when they chose to appeal a court decision in Tauranga that would have stopped the commercial depletion around the Island.
Let us look at the case of Motiti Island in the Bay of Plenty.
If our New Zealand politicians only ever see our inshore fishery in economic terms, then why has the inshore fishery not been reserved in support of our biggest economic success, tourism?
Tourism has grown so much and so fast that there has been a shortage of facilities to service the industry needs. Our restaurants have chef's desperate to show off our local fresh in-season products.
There are farmers and growers the full length of the country that take pride in producing the very product that has the best flavour and texture in the world. The memories this creates for our Tourist is then shared through social media all over the world too many different cultures and in many different languages, for free.
The seafood industry in their desire to send our main species overseas are trying to get consumers to swallow their PR dribble on eating less value species. This shows how desperate they are to hand on to what they are stealing from us.
Our seafood industry has for the best part opted out of the Tourist trade by choosing to restrict supply and or charge ridiculous wholesale prices for fish caught outside the seaside restaurant window.
Would you take your tourist bus to Ohakune so they could eat carrots, not likely? But they do take tourist buses to Kaikoura to eat crayfish or to Bluff to consume their famous oysters.
Restauranteurs are now trying to create memories with fish like Red Cod/Ling or the flavourless Hoki.
Chefs now spend hours creating fancy sources with hot spices and heavy flavours like garlic and time to prevent the fish dish from being bland.
The best way to have our seaside cafe's serve three-star food is to the supply that cafe with fresh same day fish, like Snapper or Blue Cod and let the Chef pan fry it in a little butter and olive oil, then season it with salt and pepper and put it on a fancy plate with some salad and chips.
So next time you are in the supermarket of in a restaurant ask for same day in shore line-caught fish, if they don't have it walk away.
Sales Manager: Graham Carter P: 07 8551833 M: 021 02600437 E:
W: www.fishingoutdoors.org P.O. Box 10580, Te Rapa, Hamilton 3240 Facebook