LegaSea Hawke's Bay fears for local fish stocksSave
By Kaysha Brownlie
A big catch is something every fisherman hopes for.
But, LegaSea Hawke's Bay, a group dedicated to protecting recreational fishing, says it's something of a rarity.
Member, Jim Yeoman, says: "The fishing in Hawke's Bay is about the enjoyment of being on the water, catching something is a bonus, it never used to be like that."
Mr Yeoman says during a good season recreational fishermen could hook nearly 400 gurnard - now they're lucky to see two.
LegaSea Hawke's Bay's has recorded data from surveying thousands of anglers from each competition day over the last decade.
Brian Firman, who belongs to LegaSea Hawke's Bay, too, says the state of the fisheries is a "major concern".
Looking at a graph from the collated data he says it"zigzags on a general trend downward".
According to their results, in 2006 gurnard catch was 2.2 per person - now, it's about 1.3.
"Recreational catch is estimated between three and six per cent of the total catch that comes out, so even if recreational anglers halved their daily bag limit it would make no significant difference to the fish volumes," Mr Firman says.
That's why the group are calling for greater restrictions enforced on commercial fishing in the area.
Passionate recreational fisherman, Wayne Bicknell, says the group want trawling outside 50m only.