I have witnessed data collection being carried out at the VMR boat ramp in Cannonvale last year. I dont know how long it was done for or how many locations it was done at, but they were questioning every boat that came in about their catch and recording the data.

I understand the angst felt by industry people who will be affected by closure and or quota buybacks or restrictions however it has been shown time and time again that when it comes to the environment, commercial interests override science and common sense and there will always be some people opposed to reducing the take of natural resources no matter how depleted they are.

The north Atlantic cod industry was a classic example where, despite plummeting fish stocks and catches falling to record lows, the fishing industry was still demanding that commercial fishermen be allowed to fish to maintain their livelihoods and pay their mortgages etc.

The use of modern technology like drones, spotter aircraft, fishfinder radar etc and targetting aggregations of fish mean it is possible for the industry and private anglers to still catch lots of fish, even when overall numbers are very diminished.

The collapse of the Orange Roughy fishery in NZ is another example of waiting until too late because of commercial pressure and a lack of evidence and peer reviewed science. I believe this is a good reason to take the precautionary principle and act early to ensure a complete collapse in fish stocks does not occur.