Press Releases and Statements

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Press Releases and Statements

Who's who

The New Zealand Sport Fishing Council was founded in 1957 and was originally called the New Zealand Big Game Fishing Council. It was renamed in 2009 to reflect a more diverse membership interested in a wide variety of fisheries. 

The NZSFC is a national sports organisation with over 34,000 affiliated members from 56 clubs nationwide. 

LegaSea engages with the public on behalf of the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council.

LegaSea works with a range of organisations and recreational fishing businesses to raise awareness of the issues facing our fisheries and what needs to be done to rebuild inshore fisheries.

In an effort to raise awareness LegaSea provides public-friendly information about a variety of processes that are important to the marine environment and our future fishing success. 

LegaSea media release. Crayfish mismanagement needs to be urgently addressed. 14 February 2017

LegaSea and the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council have responded strongly to proposals from the Ministry for Primary Industries relating to the future management of three rock lobster fisheries around the coast from East Cape to Wellington and up to Foxton, and Otago in the south. Unfortunately, MPI wants to allow increased commercial fishing......

Crayfish mismanagement needs to be urgently addressed. 14 February 2017

LegaSea media release. NZ public has lost faith in the fisheries management regime. 18 November 2016

New Zealanders are growing more concerned about the way our fisheries are being managed. Far from having a "world leading" fisheries management system, nearly 70% of those surveyed in a new nationwide study believe an independent inquiry into the Quota Management System is warrnated. Only 5% felt it was not.   

LegaSea Hawke's Bay release. Overwhelming public support for trawler ban. 4 November 2016

A complete moratorium on commercial trawling within the inshore waters of Hawke Bay and surrounding waters is the only way the depleted fish stocks can rebuild. This was the clear and primary message the public gave to the officials of LegaSea Hawkes Bay at the Hawke's Bay Royal A & P Show held at the Hastings Showgrounds over Labour weekend.   

LegaSea media release. A Commission of Inquiry is the only answer. 21 Septebmer 2016

Leaked documents show the Ministry for Primary Industries has been aware of widespread fish dumping for years yet not acted to prosecute the offending commercial fishers. These papers highlight deeply rooted problems with the management of fisheries. Now recreational and environmental interests are calling for a Commission of Inquiry into the Quota Management System.  

LegaSea media release. MPI needs to be overhauled following damning report. 16 Septebmer 2016

The Heron Report into why the Ministry for Primary Industries did not prosecute fish dumping paints a picture of incompetence. The Report, which follows revelations that the Ministry for Primary Industries has filmed fishing boats engaging in illegal activity over a period of several years says the decision not to prosecute was "flawed". 

LegaSea media release. More evidence that MPI doesn't prosecute fish dumping.  26 August 2016

An Official Information Act request by Radio New Zealand has revealed that less than one percent of all fisheries prosecutions are related to fish dumping. That's despite evidence showing five out of six industrial fishing boats were dumping fish during Operations Achilles and Hippocamp. Inspectors estimated that crews were dumping anywhere between 20% and 100% of their catch. 

LegaSea media release. LegaSea calls for Commission of Inquiry.  24 May 2016

The Director-General of the Ministry for Primary Industries Martyn Dunne has announced the appointment of a Queen's Counsel to conduct an inquiry following revelations that his officials in MPI decided not to prosecute industrial fishers filmed dumping overboard some or all of their catch.  

LegaSea calls for Commission of Inquiry.  24 May 2016

LegaSea media release. MPI Investigation is not enough. 19 May 2016

Recreational fishers are concerned that the proposed investigation into the dumping, wastage and cover-ups by the Ministry for Primary Industries does not go far enough. Only a full review into the Quota Management System will be sufficient to allay widespread public concern that the Ministry has been captured by commercial interests. 

LegaSea media release. Urgent action required on illegal fishing operations. 16 May 2016

Industrial fishing fleets kill more than twice the number of fish they report and are doing so with little oversight from the Ministry for Primary Industries according to research released by the University of Auckland. The University of Auckland's "Reconstruction of marine fisheries catches for New Zealand (1950-2010)" report points out the lie....

LegaSea media release. Black market seafood sales driven by demand. 27 January 2016

Illegal sales of seafood on social media is worth thousands of dollars and is particularly difficult to combat according to recent reports. With the exception of whitebait, only registered commercial fishers can sell seafood in New Zealand. LegaSea and the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council, who advocate on behalf of recreational fishers, support moves to identify and stop black market operators. 

Media release. LegaSea backs review of Fisheries Act. 27 August 2015

LegaSea is pleased to hear the Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy announce a major review of the Fisheries Act, but spokesman Scott Macindoe says the government needs to broaden its focus to take into account the value of recreational fishing. 

Media release. NZ Marine Research Foundation. Groundbreaking study of recreational fishing. 10 August 2015

The New Zealand Marine Research Foundation has today announced plans to carry out the first ever definitive study of the true economic value of recreational fishing in New Zealand. NZMRF chairman, Jeff Romeril, says the $250,000 study will unlock new insights and generate new debate about the appropriate balance of emphasis on commercial and recreational fishing interests in New Zealand. 

Media release. LegaSea. Ongoing celebrations for Supreme Court ruling. 28 May 2015

LegaSea media release. Recreational fishers are celebrating the sixth anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling that changed the fisheries management landscape in New Zealand. In 2009 the Supreme Court confirmed the Minister can apply discretion and government policy when allocating the available fisheries resource between sectors. 

Media release. NZSFC. Hiwi the Kiwi wins prestigous award. 25 November 2014

Funny man Mark de Lacy, aka the Minstrel, has earned the outstanding contribution award for his work teaching vital water saftey messages to more than 250,000 youngsters nationwide. The award is one of several announced today at the 2014 Sealord New Zealand Water Safety Awards. 

Media release. LegaSea. Top Kiwis backing Tip the Scales campaign. 20 August 2014

Sir Graham Henry, former All Black Kees Meeuws, singer-song writer Jamie McDell and fishing guru Matt Watson have pledged their support to Tip the Scales, a pre-election campaign generating public support for rebuilding New Zealand's depleted inshore fisheries. 

LegaSea spearheaded the Snapper 1 campaign for the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council. LegaSea is the public outreach brand of the NZ Sport Fishing Council. This dedicated team succeeded in highlighting the Snapper 1 issue in multimedia forums, in public awareness and political circles.

Media release. Snapper decision falls short. 18 September 2013

LegaSea media release 'Snapper decision falls short'. LegaSea says recreational fishers are rightfully angry that their daily bag limits have been cut from nine to seven and the minimum legal size has been increased from 27 to 30cm when there is no change to commercial catch limits. 

Media release. The fight for our fish is far from over. 23 August 2013

Serious accusations have been levelled at the fisheries Minister this week in parliament over the snapper proposals. Nathan Guy was accused of breaking the Cabinet manual that states a Minister must take all controversial matters to Cabinet before they become public. Despite the media uproar, Mr Guy is adamant the proposals are not controversial. 

Campaign launch. Save Our Snapper. 2 August 2013

LegaSea SOS Save Our Snapper campaign launched online. Submission summary and online submission tool made available to the public. Supporting information supplied online and released to the media. LegaSea Action Pack distributed to enable people to recruit their family, friends, neighbours and work colleagues. 

Media release. SOS Save Our Snapper. 26 July 2013

LegaSea media release 'SOS Save Our Snapper'. Commercial exploitation of our snapper resources will alienate the public from an important food source if proposed management changes are implemented.

LegaSea is challenging the proposals as unfair and is encouraging all New Zealanders to stand up for their interests. 

Media release. Snapper on the Line. 16 July 2013

LegaSea media release 'Snapper on the Line'. Recreational fishers are shocked at proposals by the Ministry for Primary Industries to slash snapper bag limits while the commercial sector is largely unaffected. 

"It's a national disgrace that all options proposed by the government force recreational anglers to shoulder the responsibility for rebuilding Snapper 1 stocks", says Mandy Kupenga, spokesperson for LegaSea. 

Media release - Marlin NOT for sale. 22 May 2013marlin are not for sale media release

Regulations protecting striped marlin as a recreational-only fishery are under threat by commercial fishermen who want to keep and sell marlin. Recreational fishing groups are adamant that marlin must remain a non-commercial species.

Read the media release Marlin NOT for sale here then sign the online 'Marlin are not for sale' position statement and make your voice heard.

Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Seminar 2012

Around 200 people attended the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Seminar on 22 August 2012. The New Zealand Sport Fishing Council, through LegaSea, was well represented with John Holdsworth and Scott Macindoe both making presentations. 

A summary of the day's discussions are captured in this NZ Herald article Hauraki Gulf: Planning for the Future

John Holdsworth, of Blue Water Marine Research, presented A Recreational View of the Hauraki Gulf's Fishery. [Caution: PDF 5.2MB]

Public robbed of crayfish through unfair practices

NZ Sport Fishing Council Media Release. 28 March 2012

Recent Ministerial decisions allocating more of Gisborne's crayfish to commercial interests have outraged the local community and  New Zealand Sport Fishing Council. The decisions apply from 1 April this year. Read the full media release about the Crayfish decisions here

Speech notes

Address to the "Tikapa Moana - Hauraki Gulf State of the Environment Report Seminar".

Prepared for and delivered by Scott Macindoe on behalf of the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council, 9 August 2011.

Hauraki Gulf Seminar speech notes here....


Article by Geoff Cummings from the New Zealand Herald. Click Here.


Kahawai Decision September 2010

Is the future of fish like this going to be a memory?

Photo Eugen de Brun:

The Minister has retained the TACC, and reduced the recreational allowance by 48% and customary allowance by 60%.

Click here for the Ministry's Final Advice Paper (FAP)   (PDF 2.4meg)  Might take time to download.

Click here for direct link to MFish to review FAP. 

Click here for NZSF, option4 and Hokianga Accord  Press release (21Kb)

Minister's Decision report here


A new scheme formally announced today by Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Phil Heatley, will help improve knowledge about New Zealand's fisheries and ensure the interests of amateur fishers are taken into account in fisheries management decisions.

The operators of amateur charter fishing boats have been contacted and asked to register their boats with the Ministry of Fisheries. From 1 November 2010 they will need to have been registered and will be required to report their fishing activity and catches of certain high value fish species such as kingfish and rock lobster, in various areas around the country."

Mr Heatley says this is an important move towards developing better understanding of our on link below for more.....

Full Speech to NZ Recreational Fishing Council July 2010

Speech to the NZ Recreational Fishing Council Annual Conference
Good afternoon and thank you for this opportunity to address your conference.

First I'd like to acknowledge your Council for its commitment and the hard work it does advocating for the rights and responsibilities of New Zealanders who fish for food or fun.

This is a very important role in respect of a significant pastime for New Zealanders.

And it is important - its said nearly a third of us have gone fishing or have gathered shellfish in the last 12 months, and recreational fishers go fishing an average of nine times a on link below for whole speech.

Southern Bluefin Tuna - Scoop: March 2010: click here

Photo: Te Ariki Nui Charters.

Will we have enough of these left to catch after the quota increase? The following link is to Mfish website for a catch reporting article based on 2009 season.

Phil Heatley 21 APRIL, 2010

Major recreational fishing survey gets go-ahead

The largest study into recreational fishing in a decade will commence this year, Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Phil Heatley announced today.

Costing $5 million over the next four years, the study results will greatly improve understanding of how many people are going fishing, diving and gathering shellfish; where they fish and how much they are catching.

Work on designing the project will begin immediately with the research scheduled to start in time for the 2011-2012 summer fishing season. Click on link below for the whole announcement.