Recreational paua harvester Dr Tim Ritchie addresses a
meeting in Dunedin last night. Photo by Linda Robertson.
A groundswell of opposition to a proposal on opening
areas to commercial paua harvesting in Otago and Southland was
heard at the South Coast Boardriders Club in Dunedin last
More than 70 people listened to reasons why recreational paua
harvesters should write submissions to the Primary Industries
Ministry opposing its review to allow commercial harvesting
in prohibited areas in the quota management area.
That includes coastline around Otago Peninsula, the Clutha
River and Bluff Hill.
Meeting organiser Rhyse Bartlett said opening up areas to
commercial harvesting along the coast from the Waitaki River
mouth to the Waiau River mouth was wrong and he wanted future
generations to enjoy what he could.
''I've got a couple of kids and I want them to see what I've
A discussion paper with two possible options would be given
to Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy, he said.
The options were to retain existing commercial harvest
prohibitions or to allow commercial harvesting of paua in the
The ministry preferred the second option and if approved,
commercial fishing would start October 1, 2013, he said.
The public had until April 19 to submit submissions, he said.
Recreational fisherman Lloyd McGinty said he requested an
extension of the submission date but was declined.
He snorkelled for paua in Dunedin and opening up to
commercial harvesters would ''significantly impact'' on the
resource, he said.
If the area was opened to commercial harvesters, the ministry
would leave Seal Point on Otago Peninsula for the use of
recreational harvesters. The offer was worthless because
there were no paua to harvest at Seal Point, he said. Mr
McGinty stressed the importance of submissions: ''It will
take a couple of hours, but there's a lot to lose if you