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Ban on winter fishing for areas of New Zealand

Ban on winter fishing for areas of New Zealand

The ban will be imposed on parts of the Rakaia River (pictured) in the Canterbury region (inset).

Fishing is to be banned over the winter for parts of Canterbury, New Zealand as a result of declining river quality. North Canterbury Fish & Game have imposed the ban in order to preserve the regions fisheries for the future.

Coming into force on April 30, the ban – approved by the New Zealand Department of Conservation – prevents fish being taken from areas covering the Rakaia River and the Waiau River.

The water in the region is said to have been impacted by long term environmental degradation as a result of intensive agriculture and a lack of water monitoring.

The chairman of North Canterbury Fish & Game, Trevor Isitt, commented on the ban, saying: “All of our lowland streams now have a classification from mildly to heavily polluted, which is affecting the aquatic environment that our fish live in, and [it] is affecting the spawning that needs to go on for the recruitment of fish in the future.”

“There's been a huge decrease in fish numbers over the past few years; last season, the sea-run nearly collapsed.”

“We want to get the message across - we're in the business of providing fishing opportunities, not taking them away - so it's really reluctantly that we've gone down the path of putting a ban in place.”

There is an increasing movement against intensive agriculture in the angling world, both in New Zealand, the UK and other areas, with organic matter and many of the chemicals used by farmers potentially damaging water quality.

The ban will run until the end of September, with anyone caught fishing whilst it is in place facing confiscation of equipment or even prosecution.

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