Kiwis are world leading boaties

The Southland Times recently reported that, according to Maritime New Zealand’s Recreational Boat Survey, New Zealand has the highest boatto-person ratio in the world.

The survey results show the Tasman region having 44% of people reported owning or using a boat, the highest self-reported level in the country, followed by Marlborough at 40%.

We know the majority of those who go boating regularly put a line or pot in the water and collectively take a significant share of available fisheries resources.

It follows the importance Kiwis place on fishing for a feed warrants recognition and attention by those who manage fisheries.

Fish Mainland Inc finds ways to help the Government recognise the importance of recreational fishing. This is done by taking a proactive, forward looking, and cooperative approach towards representing South Island fishers’ interests and working collaboratively with the other fishing sectors to better ensure fisheries and the environment are maintained for future generations.

Fish Mainland recognises the collection of better data on recreational catch and effort is a critical step in improving fisheries management decision making, and recreational fishers are the best source of that data.

The benefit for fishers is better data informs decision making by substantiating the importance of a fishery for recreational use and fishers’ preferred fishing grounds.

Several South Island recreational fishers, fishing clubs and other groups, including the Guardians of Fiordland and Kaikoura, have highlighted the value they place on collecting more information and with greater frequency to gain a better understanding of localised trends in abundance, size distribution and availability of fish stocks important to recreational fishers.

With funding from the Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI) Sustainable Food & Fibre Futures programme, Fish Mainland has collaborated with Datacom in developing a recreational fisher selfreporting system.

The data is collected via a mobile app, appropriately named Mainland Catch. It is an intuitive and simple app for fishers to use on their fishing trips.

Mainland Catch is designed like the longstanding voluntary arrangements for catch-per-unit-effort data collected by the commercial rock lobster fishers. Over time, these voluntary arrangements have continued to improve so the data provided have become integral to stock assessments.

We anticipate Mainland Catch will provide valuable data for management and compliance purposes and at a considerably lower cost compared to other recreational data collection methods.

Currently, Mainland Catch is being redeveloped using tools that simplify its roll out to both iOS and Android platforms. This redevelopment will provide an improved user interface for creating trips, adding fishers, and recording catches while also providing both light and dark modes to improve usability in bright sunlight conditions while at sea.

The new version of Mainland Catch, to be released in March 2024, will also improve performance and responsiveness, and enable the secure capture and retention of catch and effort data to allow detailed reporting to MPI on several fisheries important to recreational fishers. It will also support reporting in both English and Te Reo languages.

Whether you fish from a kayak, a 6+ metre powerboat or the beach, we encourage all fishers to do their part in sustaining fisheries by fishing within set limits and using Mainland Catch to record their catch and effort data.

Our website steps you through becoming a Fish Mainland member, which is free. If you support our work, you can also donate through the website or via direct debit to our bank account 03 0823 0101056 000.

Have you downloaded the Mainland Catch App?

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