There was an innocuous enough article in Stuff talking about the fewer fishing licenses sold in Southland.

There were 8138 licenses sold compared with the previous year when we were told 9191 licenses were issued. Previously according to the article 12,431 were sold.

Fish and Game put it down to the bad weather but I have my doubts. In the old days I purchased a trout fishing license at the start of the season, end of story. The weather at the time was irrelevant.

Farmer, Bernadette Hunt affirmed the irrelevance of the weather in a tweet

Then in a follow up article we were told that farmers weren’t purchasing licenses as a protest against Fish and Game’s anti-dairy stance.

I can relate to that.

Bernadette Hunt who is also Southland Fed’s vice president made the point that ‘if there is an issue attributed to anything rural they’re all over it but if it is urban Fish and Game are silent’.

She’s right

Interestingly Federated Farmers president Katie Milne wrote to Fish and Game last year asking for constructive dialogue.

What she received from the organisation was effectively a two fingered salute.

So is Fish and Game now wanting to open dialogue, to be constructive and a good citizen as they’re obviously right off side with people fishing?.

Hell no. There reaction was to hammer the penalties that unlicensed fishers could suffer. They told us that fishing without a license could incur a fine of up to $5000 which is a ridiculous amount especially considering fine for rampant rubbish pollution is just $400.

We could also lose fishing equipment, vehicles and boats.

Fish and Game with its jackbooted approach told us that other charges could be laid including obstruction. The fine for that is up to $100,000.

What the organisation has totally failed to acknowledge is the general disgust they are held in. I’m just not going to fish for trout and salmon.

That way I don’t break the law and I’m not subsidising Fish and Games foibles by purchasing a license.

As an aside catching Kawhai on the beach is just as much fun with less bureaucracy.

That jackbooted response by Fish and Game should be concerning for all right minded Kiwi’s.

If a Police officer is suspicious you are committing crimes they need search warrants. The Police are responsible for their actions and transparent. Fish and Game have unfettered access to your property. They can ‘seize any bag’, ‘stop any vehicle’ and ‘at all times and without hindrance by any means whatever, enter upon, pass through or remain on any land’.

They certainly aren’t transparent or accountable

And that is New Zealand in 2019. We consider apprehending those who are illegally catching trout as being more important than dishonesty, theft or violence?

Further if there is an issue then give it to the reputable organisation that is the Department of Conservation and not a lunatic fringe group that I’m still undecided whether they’re stupid or arrogant.