Mainland Catch App – ready for the PAU3A opening

Fish Mainland welcomes the new Government’s preparedness to challenge what previously might have been considered indisputable.

We acknowledge budgetary constraints placed on Government departments bring disruption, uncertainty and inevitable change and we trust worthwhile decisions will be made so departments transition towards greater accountability and effectiveness in their roles.

We consider changes are necessary for some departmental roles, given fishing interests seemed to have fallen out of favour under the previous Government; a classic example being the last-minute Ministerial decisions on Southeast Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

We trust the new Government will undo these decisions because of biased defects in the MPA planning process, inaccuracies in MPA boundaries and resulting loss of the most productive fishing grounds for recreational and commercial fishers alike.

We appreciate the new Minister of Oceans and Fisheries’ fresh attitude on fisheries issues. We also appreciate him acknowledging Fish Mainland’s collaborative and innovative approach towards managing fisheries, including our development of the Mainland Catch app for recreational fishers to self-report their catch, effort and location data.

Mainland Catch was first developed for the blue cod fishery. The app now includes other fisheries important to recreational fishers, starting with the pāua fishery (PAU3A) in the Kaikōura region.

PAU3A is still recovering and vulnerable to changing environmental conditions, due to the 2016 earthquakes. Fish Mainland agrees with the Pāua Industry Council and others that Fisheries New Zealand (MPI) should carefully consider how Mainland Catch can be integral to solving ongoing problems in managing the excessive recreational pressure on this fishery.

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

Datacom has redeveloped Mainland Catch to provide an improved user interface and improved capture and retention of data.

Starting in March, we trialled the app along the Kaikōura coastline. With the aid of several Kaikōura locals, data was recorded from different access points the public used during the previous PAU3A openings. At the same time, we trialled the app for various fisheries at different locations across the South Island.

The data collected demonstrate the app’s readiness for use during the PAU3A opening from April 22 – June 21.

The app will be released for recreational fishers to voluntarily self-report. Their collective data can be used to broadly signal localised trends in abundance, size distribution and availability of species (targeted and bycatch).

A single person can record data for all members of a fishing group. Your personal data is confidential and will not be made public. Data will only be available to the public and MPI in aggregated form such as reporting area and region. The data collected will be stored with the app developer, Datacom’s Nelson office.

The benefit for fishers is that better data informs management decision-making, including substantiating the importance of a fishery for recreational use and preferred fishing grounds, or reducing environment impacts that benefit all sectors.

In other words, Fish Mainland has devised proactive means for recreational fishers to be involved in doing something different, which can fortify their position when it comes to important fisheries management decisions; far more importance is placed on data than mere opinions.

We encourage all fishers to do their part in sustaining fisheries by fishing within set limits and using Mainland Catch to record their data.

We encourage you to show your support for Fish Mainland by becoming a member for free and making donations via our website or bank account no 03-0823-0101056-000.

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