Far North locals blaming commercial fishing for dwindling fish stock, call for changes

A group of Far North locals who blame commercial fishermen for their dwindling fish stock are taking matters into their own hands.

Karikari Peninsula residents are petitioning the Government for a change in the rules but are also having confrontations on the water.

Karikari Peninsula community leader Thomson Lawrence said, "We've lived here all our lives and we know the stock numbers have dropped off.

"The fishing numbers have dropped off and we want to know that our kids and granddkids can go out there any time and grab a feed of fish."

Confrontations between the fishermen and Karikari locals have been fierce, and others who come in to Doubtless Bay are being warned to expect more direct action.

The locals say they're prepared to cut lines, nets and ropes to stop the depleting fish stock.

"It could get rough. I mean, we're prepared to do what we have to do to make these guys to either go somewhere else or change their minds," Mr Lawrence said.

The ministry responsible for fisheries strongly discourages locals from taking matters into their own hands.

It says responsible fishermen should fish within the limits, and it will investigate any evidence of illegal activity. It's believed the snapper fishery in the region is improving and fish stocks are monitored regularly.

Ron Baker, a fisherman, said, "We're local fishermen - we're not actually targeting the area so much as the school fish we're trying to follow. They came in, so we came in."

"It's hard to keep everyone happy," he said.

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A group of locals in the Far North believe so and are petitioning the government for a change in rules. Source: 1 NEWS