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Kingfish Go Wild

NEW ZEALAND - The crucial approvals from Biosecurity and MFish (Ministry of Fisheries) have been given and its Kingfish Go Wild, says Sanford Ltd CEO Eric Barratt.

Kingfish Go Wild - NEW ZEALAND - The crucial approvals from Biosecurity and MFish (Ministry of Fisheries) have been given and its Kingfish Go Wild, says Sanford Ltd CEO Eric Barratt.

Its been confirmed that the kingfish are healthy and disease-free and MFish has approved the transportation and release of the fish. The Ministry has been extremely helpful in fast-tracking the necessary paperwork and testing, he said.

Commercial fishing company Sanford Ltd and the NZ Recreational Fishing Council (NZRFC) have joined forces to ensure the release into the wild of healthy kingfish from a closing fish farming venture in the Far North.

The goal is to save the healthy fish and transport them to release spots down the East Coast, said Mr Barratt. The kingfish fishery is a shared fishery between commercial, recreational and customary. Everyone can potentially benefit from the release of tens of thousands of fish into the wild. Its important for all users of fisheries to participate in sharing responsibility for the management of fisheries. Were thrilled to be able to make the difference in ensuring the success of the project.

Were very pleased to get the green light for the Kingfish Go Wild project, says President of the NZRFC (New Zealand Recreational Fishing Council) Keith Ingram. One of the key permissions was for recreational fishers to be in possession of undersize fish.

Mr Ingram said that support from Sanford Ltd and assistance from Lawson Transport, MFish and NIWA has been invaluable. The first releases are planned to occur in the week starting 10th July.

BACKGROUND

The kingfish are owned by a subsidiary of the Parengarenga Incorporation. The farm is to close and the fish must go, however the joint venture has now purchased the fish that are suitable (from 0.5kg to 2kg) to release them into the wild.

Sanford Limiteds commitment has ensured that the project can go ahead, including the tagging, transport and release.

The task of transporting thousands of small live fish around the country is risky at the best of times and requires specialist equipment. The ability to transport large numbers of larger fish is a major challenge in itself, but one that can be done with care. NIWAs professional advice and expertise, along with the use of their live fish transport tanks and professional assistance, will ensure the fish travel safely. The NIWA tank has been developed specifically for transporting live fish. A further two smaller tanks have been supplied by Aquahort and will be used to transport the larger fish to local release areas.

The tank will be carried by Lawson Transport, a company with experience in transporting live fish. Transporting live fish as cargo is significantly different to that of freight or logs. The truck must travel at smooth speeds and easy in the bends. Creating a washing machine effect will stress the fish, reducing their chances of recovering for their initial acclimatization and survival once released.

Numerous donations large and small are making up the difference and ensuring that the project can be completed effectively. Further donations from keen recreational fishers and supporters are being sought.

Releases will occur in batches from Taipa and Whangaroa to the Bay of Islands, and the Hauraki Gulf starting from 10th July 2006. Because of the higher risk associated with transporting larger fish, only smaller fish will be released in the Hauraki Gulf.

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