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Source: Fish and Game NZ

Conservation Week (September 5-11) is an opportunity to applaud the “massive” environmental effort invested by anglers and hunters throughout the country, says Fish & Game NZ.
Chief executive Corina Jordan says the conservation gains achieved by the 150,000 freshwater anglers and game bird hunters often goes unrecognised.
“The public probably thinks these Kiwis just go out to catch fish and harvest ducks, but they’re actually the unsung heroes of environmental protection in Aotearoa.
“Whether it’s through their licence purchase, which helps fund Fish & Game’s advocacy work, or directly via their own on-the-ground efforts creating wetlands or trapping predators, game bird hunters make the single biggest contribution to wetland protection and enhancement of any group.”
This, Jordan says, has significant benefits not just for the game they hunt but also for protected native fauna which have suffered gravely from the loss of wetland habitat nationally.
“And our 100,000-plus strong angling community plays an amazing custodian role over our rivers, streams and lakes. Collectively they spend a significant amount of time on the water, are mindful of what’s going on, and acutely aware of any detrimental changes that need addressing.”
Jordan points out that trout, although introduced, have the highest requirements for freshwater health of any fish species in New Zealand. The scientific understanding of the water quality and quantity standards required by trout therefore means that Fish & Game is able to push for freshwater outcomes which protects not only the habitat of trout and salmon but also native species.
“So the conservation ethos of our anglers – and Fish & Game’s advocacy for trout and salmon – benefits native fish and supports the values of the vast majority of Kiwis who want waterways that are safe for recreation and food gathering.”
Conservation Week is a fitting time to celebrate the “massive environmental contribution made by anglers and hunters”, says Jordan.