Wellington clubs' representative joins cod group

Wellington businessman Allan Davidson has been appointed to the Marlborough Sounds Blue Cod Management Group.

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy invited the Coalition of the Combined Clubs of Wellington in October to nominate a representative to sit on the group.

Mr Guy acknowledged that many Wellington-based people fished in the Marlborough Sounds, and that it would be useful to have their input into blue cod management.

Mr Davidson is managing director of Envirogroup Ltd and Easy Energy Ltd, who design, install and maintain monitoring and metering systems for commercial hot water reticulation, gas heating appliances and air conditioning systems.

The Davidson family has strong family ties with the Marlborough Sounds. Between 1992 and 1995 Mr Davidson held commercial paua quotas for Area 7 and dived extensively throughout the Sounds.

Through his many dives in the Sounds he has a strong recollection of what the blue cod fishery was like during the 1990s.

Mr Davidson is a member of the Mana Cruising Club, the Mana Aquatic Divers Club and is the Wellington regional representative for the New Zealand Underwater Association, responsible for reporting on the blue cod rules review. His interests in the Marlborough region are recreational fishing, diving and family holidays with his three sons in their 12 metre launch.

He believes his businesses philosophy of sustainable practices and goals of reducing wastage are compatible with the goals of the Blue Cod Management Group.

The management group met in Nelson on December 4. which was his first opportunity to meet representatives from the Marlborough Recreational Fishers Association, Soundsfish, Tasfish, the Pelorus Boating Club and resident associations.

He said the Coalition of the Combined Clubs of Wellington was looking forward to working more closely with Marlborough clubs and organisations to review and simplify the cod-fishing rules in the Sounds.

The groups agreed the rules were too complicated, difficult to enforce and created a concessionary fishery in favour of commercial quota-holders, he said.

They were also concerned the 30-35cm slot rule targets mainly high egg-producing females, is causing a huge amount of wastage from mortality of returned cod and sex change amongst females.

The Ministry for Primary Industries began consultation on the rules review on December 6. Recreational fishers who want to have input into the process are asked to contact a representative on the Blue Cod Management Group, who will meet with Mr Guy in February.

The 2013 blue cod survey was completed by Niwa early in December. Results will be analysed and presented to ministry officials on March 14 for review before being presented to Mr Guy.

The Marlborough Express