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Bottom trawling misunderstanding

 |  Phillip Clow  | 

Warren Maher who I think is a good bloke, is also a keen fisher who by the sounds of it is not happy with his, or his associate’s fishing experiences and quickly blames the quota management system along with destructive fishing methods.

Concentrating on bottom trawl and Danish seine.

In reply to a similar article in this paper about “sediment plumes”, “re suspension of sediments” and basically digging up the oceans seafloor with bottom trawl and seine gear, I pointed out then that this gear skims the sea bed, it doesn’t plough it, the storms do that and proof of that is the good fishing after a storm event.

Trawling and seining requires forward motion, in the vicinity of 2.5 to 3.5 knots to catch fish, if your gear is digging into the bottom you won’t go anywhere.

Examples of bottom trawling impacts in NZ inshore waters can be seen on the YouTube link https//youtube. /4YnUAFgF6eM also, you can go online and find information about the “light touch” and fuel efficiency of the Danish seine method.

Overcoming misinformation on the effects of coastal trawling and Danish seine is important as these methods not only bring in export dollars but supply fish to people in our communities and cities who don’t have a means of catching it themselves and this supply of protein is delivered twelve months of the year.

These people’s voices are never heard in the diverse views around trawling and seining.

Fisheries NZ (MPI) carry out frequent stock assessments of important species like snapper, trevally, gurnard etc and adjust catch levels for all extractive users up or down depending on biomass, mortality’s (both fishing and natural like milky fleshed snapper).

What seems to be missing from articles commenting on commercial fishing is the presence of sedimentation in most coastal areas of NZ which undoubtedly has effects on the security of juvenile estuarine species of which snapper is one along with shellfish such as scallops.

Our country is undergoing a change in fisheries management to include the ecosystem (ecosystem-based fisheries management). As can be worked out this is a “mountains to the sea” approach and is supposed to take into account land-based stressors. We have a land-based stressor affecting most of the east coast Coromandel Peninsula’s estuaries with short rotation plantation forestry as just one example. Perhaps Warren as the WRC Councillor for the Thames Coromandel constituency, will look seriously at the risks to our estuaries, inshore waters and indeed our fishing grounds from a severe weather event and associated sediment loading during his term.

Often, I have found people thinking that trawlers and Danish seiners working in our local waters operate throughout the entire coastal area, so I have included a chart showing that out of the entire Hauraki Gulf Marine Park waters only approximately 40% contains fishable ground to trawling and Danish seining.

Yours faithfully

Warren Maher who I think is a good bloke, is also a keen fisher who by the sounds of it is not happy with his, or his associate’s fishing experiences and quickly blames the quota management system along with destructive fishing methods.

Concentrating on bottom trawl and Danish seine.

In reply to a similar article in this paper about “sediment plumes”, “re suspension of sediments” and basically digging up the oceans seafloor with bottom trawl and seine gear, I pointed out then that this gear skims the sea bed, it doesn’t plough it, the storms do that and proof of that is the good fishing after a storm event.

Trawling and seining requires forward motion, in the vicinity of 2.5 to 3.5 knots to catch fish, if your gear is digging into the bottom you won’t go anywhere.

Examples of bottom trawling impacts in NZ inshore waters can be seen on the YouTube link https//youtube. /4YnUAFgF6eM also, you can go online and find information about the “light touch” and fuel efficiency of the Danish seine method.

Overcoming misinformation on the effects of coastal trawling and Danish seine is important as these methods not only bring in export dollars but supply fish to people in our communities and cities who don’t have a means of catching it themselves and this supply of protein is delivered twelve months of the year.

These people’s voices are never heard in the diverse views around trawling and seining.

Fisheries NZ (MPI) carry out frequent stock assessments of important species like snapper, trevally, gurnard etc and adjust catch levels for all extractive users up or down depending on biomass, mortality’s (both fishing and natural like milky fleshed snapper).

What seems to be missing from articles commenting on commercial fishing is the presence of sedimentation in most coastal areas of NZ which undoubtedly has effects on the security of juvenile estuarine species of which snapper is one along with shellfish such as scallops.

Our country is undergoing a change in fisheries management to include the ecosystem (ecosystem-based fisheries management). As can be worked out this is a “mountains to the sea” approach and is supposed to take into account land-based stressors. We have a land-based stressor affecting most of the east coast Coromandel Peninsula’s estuaries with short rotation plantation forestry as just one example. Perhaps Warren as the WRC Councillor for the Thames Coromandel constituency, will look seriously at the risks to our estuaries, inshore waters and indeed our fishing grounds from a severe weather event and associated sediment loading during his term.

Often, I have found people thinking that trawlers and Danish seiners working in our local waters operate throughout the entire coastal area, so I have included a chart showing that out of the entire Hauraki Gulf Marine Park waters only approximately 40% contains fishable ground to trawling and Danish seining.

Yours faithfully


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