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I was bemused to read that Niwa experts are suggesting licensing of whitebaiters and compelling them to keep a record of daily catches.
Really, as a baiter of some 60 years I can assure authorities whitebaiters don't reveal their catches even to mates, so any records they gather are very likely inaccurate.
An overhaul of the West Coast regulations is well overdue it is meant to be a shared fishery but the regulations favour the stand owners the interests of the whitebait come a bad second and mum dad & the name kids with no stand come seriously last.
Catches of 50 - 100 kilos per tide are not unusual on the front stands which leaves very little to be shared. Authorities need to step up and initiate the obvious changes instead of pandering to pressure groups.
The fishery is the one of very few that has not got a daily take limit - why ? Why are stands allowed to extend a third of the river ? Why is there a season? Why are stock grazing the rivers? Why is there not more done to protect habitat?
Act on the obvious before having another bloody enquiry.