FishCare promotes best practice techniques to help recreational fishers reduce their impact on our inshore fisheries.
FishCare is developed in response to repeated requests by recreational fishers asking what more they can do to help look after our fishery for future generations. Together we can enjoy a more abundant resource.
FishCare is delivered via its five core principles:
Consider the methods you use while fishing. Adapting fishing systems to be less invasive can make a big difference to the impact on the fishery.
For example, simply adopting techniques that avoid catching undersized or juvenille fish ensures the numbers of fish handled will be reduced, preventing potential harm to these fish.
Handling and release techniques
Ideally, fish need to be released while in the water. If touching is required, use wet hands - cloth is not recommended as it removes the fish’s protective mucous layer.
For fillets only fishers, there are many options to ensure the heads and frames aren’t wasted.
Firstly, try them for yourself, make fish stock or smoke your fish whole. Alternatively, consider the community site FreeFishHeads.co.nz
Minimising your impact
The entire ecosystem is intertwined so it is vital to respect sea birds and mammals while taking all waste home with you.
Deter sea birds with non-invasive methods, prevent plastics from entering the marine environment, take care of our oceans and retrieve rubbish such as bait bags.
If we don’t take care of our marine environment, we will be the losers.
Never overlook the wellbeing of you and your crew when on the water. Pay attention to weather reports, consistently carry and use lifejackets, take two forms of communication, file a trip report and know the road rules of the sea. Become a member of the Coastguard and visit www.maritimenz.govt.nz/recreational/ for more pointers on safe boating practices in New Zealand.