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Volkner Rocks - Reserve - Act Now

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    Posted: 20 Nov 2002 at 12:10pm
Kerren View Drop Down
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          Provided by Capt. Rick Pollock

In Pursuit
Special Edition Ė Part II

Itís finally been officially decreed Ė the final submission period for the proposed marine reserve at the Volkner Rocks is upon us. After a false start back in June and many people responding at that time; the timeframe is now November 14th until January 14th.

Yes, itís true that quite a few of you did respond at the earlier time and your submissions were dutifully shredded by the DOC Rotorua Conservator. Although itís so very close to, and completely through, the biggest holiday period of the year it would be great if you could please respond yet again. Every letter counts and it would be a travesty if any of the early subs were not resubmitted and documented.

I will not unduly belabour this entire issue much more since Iíve been very vocal and visible already. Suffice to say this is not a dress rehearsal Ė itís the real thing. If we arenít successful in this round then we can collectively kiss the many activities we have associated the Volkner Rocks with previously goodbye. Goodbye not only to the splendid yellowtail kingfish, which is the main attraction. This locale is one of, if not the best, consistently producing kingi reefs in the country. Since New Zealand is so well known internationally for itís tremendous yellowtail fishing (check the IGFA World Record booklet) I guess that makes the Volkners one of the best spots in the world. Additionally, all the wonderful pelagic species which call these rocks home at various times of the year would become inaccessible.    One mile radius is huge and would eliminate trolling for all the marlin species (blue, black, striped, spearfish), tuna species (bluefin, bigeye, yellowfin, albacore, skipjack) and other exotics (mahi mahi, etc) which have been caught there over the years. Oh, and one last anomaly. No one can enter a marine reserve if you have a single fish onboard. Even if you caught the fish (whether itís in the fish hold or live bait tank) well outside the reserve, you can be formally charged as you enter the reserve boundaries for a swim or a look. The burden of proof here rests with the angler!

Iíve attached two former pieces which most of you will have seen already Ė one article which appeared in the New Zealand Fishing News and a former "In Pursuit". In case you never saw them it gives the entire story.

To finish up I believe we want a reserve here one day Ė just not such a massive one which eliminates all but passive usage. Itís been a very poorly researched reserve site with few projects to ascertain its suitability or need to become a reserve. The application is flawed in a number of areas but none moreso than on a scientific basis. The big question here is what are we protecting, from who and for whom?!?

So please exercise your right and respond to this call for final submissions. Unlike other political arenas, every letter will count Ė make sure yours is among them. Thanks for your much appreciated input Ė hopefully it will benefit us all and stop the DOC steamroller.

Send your submissions to:
                         DOC
                    Bay of Plenty Conservancy
                    P O Box 1146
                    ROTORUA     

Best regards


Rick
I am Kermit, Leader of Muppets Nov 05
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Matt B Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 2002 at 1:32pm
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Guys,

I can not emplore you enough to take Rick's advice and have your say.  I have never been to the Volkner Rocks, but I have dreamed of doing so since I was about 8 years old, old enough to know Rick's name and theat this is the place to catch kingfish (which I have been doing since that age or younger).

I agree with Rick that the submission is flawed.  A lack of scientific data cannot be used to demonstrate anything.  There is a gaping hole in the data.  you cannot say that something only occurs here is it is one of the very few places you have looked at that depth. 

Marine reserves are primarily for the purpose of scientific research.  This is a requirement of the Act.  Seems most of the research began well after the reserve was first mooted, by recreational fishos as a limited extraction reserve. 

The application is unduly dismissive of the opinions fo people who know the area best, people like Rick.  It demeans their collective opinions and dismisses them as unfounded, when in reality these people know this place better than everyone else put together.  On the other hand, the opinion of a scientist, on the basis of a single data point when they have not really looked elsewhere is held up as some sort of miraculous vision.

We need to be sure that those that make decisions on these matters realise that much of the ocean is a comparative desert.  If the 10% of coastal water that the government wants to lock up in reserves focuses around good fishing spots, as it has to date, then very very soon, we will all be fishing in the desert that surrounds the places that produce and hold fish.  Of the fishing areas that I know really well, I would say that less than 10% on a surface area basis offer good fishing.  The rest is largely devoid of life large enough to catch.

I don't think any responsible fisho would argue against the need for reserves, per se.  However, reserves need to consider all users, extractive ones included.  The difference in range of recreational and commercial vessels need to be included in this consideration also. 

I would like to add that we need add our own individual thought to be taken seriously.  Use of form type submissions could be a very useful way of getting numbers of people expressing the important messages, however, if they are all identical and contain no original thought or input, they are largely treated as one by the people that analyse these things.  

If you care, put in a submission.  If you really care, put some effort into teh submission.  This is your only chance to have a say.

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Kerren Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 2002 at 1:39pm
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Ditto

Bravo Matt!!... ...you just saved me a marathon typing effort!
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