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Shearer brings snapper to Parliament

Published: 4:22PM Tuesday August 20, 2013 Source: ONE News

Labour leader David Shearer brought two snapper with him to question time in Parliament today.

During discussion on proposed quotas, which would drop the number of snapper recreational fishers could catch from nine to three, Mr Shearer asked the Prime Minister about snapper sizes.

"Does he think it's fair that a commercial fisher can catch a snapper as small as 25 centimetres," he asked, holding up a fish, "but a recreational fisher has to go to 36," he continued, holding up a bigger fish in the other hand.

"Is that fair?"

The Prime Minister replied that it may or may not be fair, before raising a point of order with the Speaker.

"I seek leave for the member to table the 36cm snapper so I can have it for dinner," he said.

Speaker David Carter did not seem to be impressed, saying simply: "That's not a point of order."

Prior to the fishy demonstration, Mr Shearer asked if Mr Key agreed that the rights of recreational Kiwi fishers to go out and catch fish should be put ahead of the rights of commercial fishing companies.

Mr Key said that he did, but that there were more recreational fishers than commercial fishers and they were becoming more efficient at catching fish, citing concerns about decreasing snapper numbers in the Bay of Plenty area.

"The process now is to go through and see whether there needs to be changes either to the balance between commercial and recreational, the size of the fish or the bag limit to see whether its possible to ensure that the fishery is sustainable."

"I think that's what all New Zealanders want," he said.

The Prime Minister said he would not be attending any of the public meetings called by recreational fishers to discuss the options for changing snapper quota but said he had received a lot of feedback from New Zealanders about the quotas.