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Last updateTue, 18 Apr 2017 8am

The story of Fish Forever

Debs-Catherine-on-water-120Fish Forever is many things: a campaign, a brand, a collection of people who love the Bay of Islands and everything it stands for - nature, lifestyle, sailing, fishing, diving...

Most of all, Fish Forever is a community initiative to establish better marine protection in the Bay so we can continue to enjoy and share the wealth it offers.

Fish Forever emerged from the Bay of Islands Maritime Park Group in early 2010. It was established to focus on a very specific task - that of working towards the establishment of a network of areas that would be protected as 100% no-take. Since that time, a core team was established to set about the task of raising awareness about the need for marine protection, for helping identify candidate areas that would represent the full biodiversity of this beautiful coastal region and understanding how to resolve any problems or conflicts of interest.

There has been some criticism that the remit of the campaign is too restrictive and that alternative measures should be taken to protect our marine environment. Absolutely! The Fish Forever team are in complete agreement that a whole raft of tools can and should be implemented to help replenish the health of the Bay of Islands. Fish Forever's "parent" body, the Bay of Islands Maritime Park Inc will support those iniatives as companion projects to the very specific objectives of Fish Forever.

swimming-with-dolphinsAt present the focus of Fish Forever is on working with the community and tangeta whenua to find a proposal of "best fit" based on a model of co-governance to present as a public discussion document next year. Since the inception of the campaign, there has been a steady flow of informal consultation which has included asking the community to sign the people's mandate and the distribution of charts for residents of the Bay to mark up with their ideas. There have been many meetings and events giving the community the chance to ask questions, raise concerns and get involved with the campaign.

What has been clear from this period of consultation is that the overwhelming majority of the community want some kind of marine reserve in the Bay of Islands.

Many have been shocked that there isn't one here already...

If you're new to the campaign, here are some "need to know" bullet points:

• Currently less than 1% of New Zealand’s coastal marine environment is protected, compared with 30% of the terrestrial environment.

• The objective is to protect at least 10% of the enclosed waters of the Bay of Islands with generational review based on a model of co-governance.

• It’s not just commercial fishermen who are depleting our fish stocks, recreational fishing puts enormous pressure on fish, crayfish and shell fish numbers.

• We as people who live, visit, play and fish in the bay all have a big part to play in the protection of our own marine biodiversity.

• We need to agree where in our Bay the marine sanctuaries will be established and maintained.

• Fish Forever is NOT an anti-fishing lobby. The campaign supports sustainable fishing and the enjoyment of kai moana for all.

• Protected areas will provide significant social, economic and environmental benefit to us all.

The Fish Forever team

About Bay of Islands Maritime Park Inc

Join Fish Forever

Northland-Dive-crayfishAnnual Membership Rates:
Student/concession - $15.00
Affiliate (please name organistation) - $15.00
Individual - $25.00
Family - $35.00

Join online here!

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