No tourist licence for anglers

An influx of overseas anglers to Otago, coming as a fishing licence shake-up has omitted a ''tourist'' licence, has disappointed Otago Fish and Game council members.

There was a ''a lot of discontent'' among council members that progress on a tourist or ''non-resident'' licence and a specialist guide licence was not making progress, Monty Wright, who was re-elected for another term as council chairman at a meeting on Saturday, said.

''It just hasn't managed to get any traction.''

International anglers made up about 10% of all licence sales and Australians 60% of that.

At a meeting at the weekend, the council discussed a proposal for fishing licence categories to be extended nationally to better meet the needs of anglers.

Members were positive about the proposed changes, especially the one-region licence, he said.

Concerns about the cost of some of the licences was alleviated by the provision for the fees to be reviewed each year, he said.

There were also some concerns about overseas anglers picking up the nine-day licence when there were already worries ''non-resident'' anglers were not paying enough for using New Zealand's rivers, he said.

''We've had an incredible influx of Australians to the country. They pay [very little] towards the upkeep of the fishery,'' Mr Wright said.

American anglers were also starting to return to New Zealand. Recommendations from each regional council will be considered by the national council.

New licence project co-ordinator Ian Hadland said another year's work was needed on a ''non-resident'' licence before it could be recommended as the work done for the new licences was based on consultation with New Zealand licence holders only.

''It requires a bit more time and research and to nail the practicalities of implementing it.''

There were still many unanswered questions about a ''non-resident'' licence especially concerning non-compliance and legally establishing the identity of overseas anglers and the duration of the licence, he said.

''It's a complicated and sensitive issue.''

• There would be no changes to the bag limits, season lengths or hunting methods for this year's game bird hunting season which starts on May 3. rebecca.

fox@odt.co.nz

 


The changes

Proposed new Fish and Game licence categories.

• Loyal senior licence at $102.85 for anglers over 65 who had held licences over the previous five seasons.

• Local area licence at $96.80 for anglers resident in a particular region who only wanted to fish within that region.

• Dual adult whole season hunting and fishing licence at $180.20.

• A slightly cheaper adult day licence at $19.

• An adult short break licence at $48.40 covering three days.

• An adult long break licence covering 9 days at $84.70.


 

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