IMMEDIATE RELEASE 17/09/2014
Freshwater anglers’ body warns of ‘sacrifice’ of waterways
The New Zealand Federation of Freshwater Angler’s (NZFFA) Vote for Fresh, Not Foul Water campaign is encouraging all anglers to take their passion for freshwater fishing to the ballot box.
NZFFA President David Haynes says the current Government has committed to subsidising mega-irrigation schemes to enable intensive farming to the tune of $400M.
He says Government is spending $250M cleaning up pollution caused by that intensification, has allocated a further $100M to retire intensive farmland adjacent to rivers, and expects local councils to match this with a further $100M.
“All in all, that’s $850M of our taxes and rates to create a pollution-based economy and clean up their mess afterwards.
“Given the global value of our clean, green brand, it is difficult to dream of a more perverse and cavalier way to damage our precious freshwater ecosystems.”
The NZFFA says in its latest newsletter to members that this is a “watershed” election for the future of recreational fishing, and the choices could not be more clear.
Anglers are urged to express their passion for fishing through the ballot box by considering the current situation: National standards for water quality so low they are only fit for boating or wading, plans to confine the protection of trout and salmon habitat in the RMA to “specified waterways” only and continuing public subsidy for freshwater polluters.
“Recreational contact in the majority of monitored lowland waterways is likely to make you sick and kill your dog,” says Mr Haynes.
“It is no longer acceptable to be given the economically primitive choice of a healthy economy or healthy environment and freshwater when there are plenty of countries that show we can have both.”
He says the NZFFA is apolitical but feels compelled to speak out, believing that if we really want to continue to dam rivers, abstract massive amounts of water from them and then replace this with pollutants from towns and cattle then we will witness the death of “Destination Trout NZ” within the next decade.
Mr Haynes says that NZFFA is appealing directly to voting fishermen and fisherwomen. “We urge you to use your party vote to protect our waterways and wild freshwater fisheries.”
In order to assist anglers, the special August edition of Fish & Game magazine invited the political parties to respond to questions on the future management of freshwater and our sports fisheries.