Dunedin artist Simon Kaan at the 'paua to the people'
protest yesterday in the Octagon. Photos by Peter McIntosh.
Former all Black Kees Meeuws was in the front row again,
at the ''paua to the people'' protest in Dunedin yesterday, to
protect the recreational paua fishery for his children.
He urged people to make submissions against the proposal to
open areas of Otago and Southland coastline to commercial
paua harvesting because he wanted paua to be around for his
''Not just for my kids, but for future generations.''
The commercial paua harvest was exported offshore and not
sold to New Zealanders, he said. The commercial harvesters
gave back less to the community than recreational divers, Mr
''As recreational divers, we buy petrol and equipment here,
to get out in our boats and support local businesses.''
Former All Black Kees Meeuws rallies support in Dunedin
yesterday to protect the coastline closed to commercial
Commercial paua divers had 500km of coastline to harvest
so they should leave the closed areas alone.
Commercial divers could continue to make a living from the
fishery and recreational divers could continue to feed their
families, Mr Meeuws said.
''There nothing wrong with it, so let's keep it that way.''
Paua Management Area Council 5 chairman Storm Stanley said he
wanted to commercially harvest paua from some of the closed
areas between Waitaki River mouth down to Te Waewae Bay, to
take the pressure off the paua stock in the commercially
The commercial paua quota was ''cut'' from 149 tonnes to 90
tonnes in 2003-04 and further regulations closed areas at
Kaka Point, Moeraki and Curio Bay in 2008-09, which had
provided the industry about eight tonnes of paua, he said.
The opening of closed areas would help rebuild stock in the
commercially fished areas, he said.
About 165km of coastline was closed to commercial harvesting
and another 20km was voluntarily closed by the industry, he
Mr Meeuws' concern that there would being no paua left for
his children was ''nonsense'' because commercial divers
harvested only bigger paua, he said.
''So there will be fish [paua] left behind for recreational
and customary fishers and their grandchildren.''
Paua was a valuable export earner, like lamb or beef. Export
prices for paua were worth about $60 million a year to New
Zealand and paua prices at the export market were higher than
what most New Zealanders would be willing to pay, he said.
''What kind of business is it that sells stuff at a discount,
when they could make more and increase their export