10 Year Management Plan submission

28 April 2021
Submission on the Sports Fish & Game 10 Year Management Plan for
Auckland/Waikato District
Made by:
The Auckland FlyFishing Anglers Club (inc)

Background.
1. The Auckland FlyFishing Anglers Club (AFAC) has been established for almost 50
years. It currently has 100 members, who range from beginners to anglers that have
represented New Zealand in international competitions. The Club organises fishing
trips throughout the North Island but the Auckland/Waikato region is our ‘backyard’
and, thus, this plan is of keen interest to our members.

2. AFAC has canvassed the views of its members and this submission is the result of
that consultation.

3. The submission only relates to issues that affect fishing.
Context.

4. As we look forward to the next 10 years, there are some macro issues that will
impact on the region. These include, but are not limited to:
a. Climate Change
b. Biosecurity threats
c. Land intensification
d. Population growth and increased urban sprawl.
e. Heightened awareness about ecological sustainability.
f. Issues around water ownership and access.

5. These issues will change the context within which sport fishing will take place: to
ensure that the next generation can enjoy the benefits of fishing, we need to
influence the debate, policies and actions in a positive way now.

Overall Comment

6. AFAC commends Fish and Game on their excellent ongoing work to preserve and
enhance the ability for people to enjoy fishing now and in the future. We also
recognise the need to take a long term view of how best to do this. The plan raises a
large number of issues and recognises that, in some areas, getting an optimum
balance between different factors or uses will need to be achieved. Getting that
balance right will be tricky and will need to be constantly re-evaluated.

7. An area that requires greater emphasis is enhancing the public image and perception
of fishing, which needs to be led nationally and locally by Fish & Game. The Plan
does refer to using the RMA process, district and regional policies and plans, et al to
advocate for habitat etc. However, there is a wider need to shape the perceptions of
the wider public on both the economic value and conservation value of encouraging
sports fish and game hunting. As New Zealand becomes an increasingly diverse and
urban population, support for fishing (and other outdoor activities) cannot be taken for
granted as it might have been in the past. The younger generation are increasingly
environmentally conscious and may not accept that fishing introduced species is
something worth preserving. We need to shape these views and clubs like ours can
play a part.

We support:

8. The overall general direction provided by the six outcomes and believe that they
provide a strategic framework around which to coordinate resources and actions.

9. The desire to make evidence-based decisions and commend Fish & Game for taking
a prudent approach if that evidence is not currently available, even if that approach is
at the expense of short term accessibility for anglers.

10. Placing sustainability of the waterways and fishing stock as a higher priority than
immediate utilisation. We note the concerns over fishing competitions but this needs
to be balanced with the reputation of New Zealand as an international trout fishing
destination and a way to inspire anglers to become more proficient.

11. Placing emphasis on water quality of water and the steps to ensure that it is not
denigrated. We support steps to enhance water quality whether riverine planting (in
urban and rural settings), control of ‘grey water’ from treatment plants and opposition
to commercial trout farming that could lead to contamination of the waterways.

12. Decision-making that avoids significant adverse effects on native fish species but
recognises that this will be a difficult balance to achieve and will require savvy
communications both to anglers and to environmental lobbyists.

Conclusion

13. Over the next ten years, there will be increasing pressure on the sport of fishing as
global and national events impact on the way on which land and water resources are
used. Fish & Game will need to balance the various pressures on water resources
and satisfy the diverse views and perceptions of fishing, while influencing and leading
the debate.

14. The Plan addresses the many issues that will face the sport in the years to come.
Given its finite resources it may not be possible to achieve everything outlined in the
Plan. Prioritising the many outcomes and goals outlined in the Plan will need
constant evaluation, explanation and communication with the fishing community.
AFAC encourages Fish & Game to speak regularly to it (and other clubs) in order to
update the Club on its priorities, activities and achievements.

Richard Hall OBE MNZM
Secretary
Auckland Flyfishing Anglers Club

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