Coutta’s Cut: Idiots with an axe to grind

A few days ago, I towed the boat from Rotorua to Whakatane for the sole purpose of stocking up my bait freezer. At time of writing, a very second-rate skipjack tuna, which selfdestructs on defrosting, is selling for $19 in my local shop.

I did okay but, after landing a dozen good skippies, I stopped due to mistakenly thinking I could go to my gurnard spot and top up my 20-bag limit with some good eating fish. I’m obviously not as good a gurnard fisherman as I thought I was, as it didn’t happen, but I drove the 100 kilometres home quite happy with what I had got. Well, almost happy. I play by the rules and always abide by limits, whether they be size or numbers. It makes me wonder who made the decision to include skipjack tuna and a few other baitfish species in the recreational limit, when it appears okay by MPI for purse seiners to scoop up literally tons of them from the Bay of Plenty every season.

Now I’m not having a shot at the seiners. They too are playing by the rules and entitled to make a living but I’m asking why the hell the lawmakers have put such a small limit on the recreation sector. They are targeted by relatively few anglers who, even with no limit, would not harm the stocks, which are only here for about four months anyway.

Perhaps those who wrote the rules had as much knowledge in this area as one I heard about on the new firearms licensing committee. While being briefed by an extremely knowledgeable police firearms officer he had to be shown what a .22 calibre cartridge looked like. I would confidently say bloody near every hunter would know what a .22 looked like but here was a politician, who was to have a say on firearms and the laws around owning them, basically not having a bloody clue what he was talking about.

With this lot, why aren’t we surprised. Whether it be hunting or fishing laws, wouldn’t it be nice if MPs who had a bit of knowledge on the subject were appointed to these committees and panels, instead of idiots with an axe to grind.

I’ve read a couple of other bits of news, which are pretty good. Christopher Luxon, who I must say I have my doubts about, has created a new portfolio dedicated to Hunting and Fishing, not to be confused with the franchise. He’s given the job to our local Rotorua MP Todd McLay. I don’t think I’m mistaken in saying this is a first and we all should be happy about it and give our support. Perhaps, just perhaps at last a government may be willing to listen. We shall see.

The second thing that has brought joy and laughter throughout the land was Jacinda’s decision to pull the pin and jump from her rapidly sinking boat. I heard once, she wanted to model herself on Helen Clark. She might well have had the talk but she sure as shit didn’t have the walk, did she?

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