A three-day gathering of 70 selected people beginning in Nelson today will discuss recreational fishing's place in New Zealand and how to have a strong voice in its future.
The FISHinFuture Search has been in development for the past six months, and will draw together people from the fishing, boating, underwater, scientific and retail communities as well as government, iwi and fishing media representatives. Environmentalists and people from the seafood and tackle industries will also be attending.
It will use the "future search" method co-developed by the event's US-based facilitator, Dr Sandra Janoff, who has been brought to New Zealand to run it.
Project manager Miranda O'Connell said the group was coming together so a diverse range of people could share ideas, debate them and plan the next steps. "The Future Search method has been used successfully all around the world, from Uganda to Northern Ireland, to deal with challenging situations," she said.
The event, being held at the Monaco Resort, is being described as a "national conversation . . . to chart a new path for our fishing future".
The FISHinFuture Search website shows that the event was initiated by the New Zealand Recreational Fishing Council (NZRFC) in mid-2011, with the council stepping back and handing over planning to a multi-stakeholder steering committee early last year.
The website says the committee met to identify a cross section of Kiwi anglers and others with an interest in sustainable fishing, and applied pre-agreed criteria to select 72 participants from a large pool of applicants.
The committee's members include The Fishing Paper editor Daryl Crimp, of Nelson.
- © Fairfax NZ News