Blue cod sustainability up for discussion

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Local fishers will get a chance to have their say on how the levels of blue cod in the Marlborough Sounds are managed with a number of consultation meetings being held in the region.

The Blue Cod Management Group, made up of recreational fishers, commercial fishing representatives and Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) representatives are developing proposals with a consultation beginning on June 2 until the end of the month.

Group spokesperson, Eric Jorgensen, says the proposals were developed following feedback from the community and scientific analysis.

“Our goal is a sustainable fishery for the current and future generations. Your feedback on these proposals will help us arrive at the best way forward.”

He says blue cod populations are not much better off than when the MPI fishery was closed in 2008 and too many are being killed in the Pelorus and Queen Charlotte Sounds.

The Blue Cod Management Group will consider all submissions and develop a proposal for the Minister to consider.

“The group has a preferred option, which we think balances the needs of all stakeholders and makes the rules simple and fair. However nothing is set in stone. We want to hear from you, whatever your view,” Eric says.

The MPI fishery is set to open again in December and any changes to fishing practises will be put in place then.

The consultation launch will begin on June 2 at the Rutherford Hotel from 8pm to 9pm. An information session will be held on June 16 at the Rutherford Hotel from 4.30 to 7.30pm

Deputy Director-General of MPI Scott Gallacher thanked the BCMG for their work to date. Mr Gallacher noted the significant amount of work the group had undertaken to develop the options proposed, including seeking views from local communities.

“The options are robust and thoughtful, and balance the need for sustainability while making sure people can continue to use this iconic fishery.”

Details on the proposals can be found on the MPI website.