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Fishermen keen to keep beach clean

SIMON SMITH
Last updated 05:00 13/02/2013
Bucklands Beach clean up team
Simon Smith

CONSCIENTIOUS KIWIS: A group of Asian New Zealanders, mostly fishermen, have started regularly cleaning up Bucklands Beach.

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A popular beach is safer and cleaner thanks to Asian fishing enthusiasts keen to show they are responsible Kiwis.

The group is picking up rubbish on Bucklands Beach weekly to help fishermen and other users co-exist peacefully.

Half Moon Bay man Richard Chen is organising the effort in response to concern surfcasters are making the beach unusable for others. (Eastern Courier, January 25.)

"It's kind of fun - it's not hard work and anyone is welcome to join if they see us," he says.

"Everybody wants a clean beach."

Working bee member David Zhang, of Northpark, says it is important Asian New Zealanders recognise they should help keep the environment clean and pure.

"We want to enjoy society because we are part of the country," he says.

Mellons Bay resident Jimmy Chang says Big Bucklands Beach is excellent for fishing because the channel is close to the shore.

Suggestions fishermen should move off the beach are not reasonable as it is too shallow to fish to the north and fishing is patchy from the rocks to the south.

Mr Chen says if the council assigns a small area for fishermen it will be too crowded and they will likely move to Farm Cove's Rotary Walkway where they will be casting among pedestrians and cyclists.

"I've been fishing there once. I'll never go fishing there because other people's safety is important."

Fishermen mostly use the beach in summer and Mr Chen believes their numbers will reduce in March as fish do not like colder southwest winds.

"The fishermen here are like migrant birds."

He says he also often swims at Bucklands Beach which is why he believes swimmers and fishermen can co-exist.

Seven Rules

Richard Chen has seven rules for fishermen to have good relations with other beach users. He's asked about 15 friends to follow them and in turn tell their friends.

■ Take your own rubbish home

■ Put bait in a container so it is not eaten by animals

■ Place rubbish found in the rubbish bin

■ Respect other people using the beach

■ Carry a copy of the Ministry of Fisheries' legal measures sticker

■ Ensure fish are measured and legal

■ Report fishermen who break the law

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- Eastern Courier

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