The fragility of the oceans is now better understood by the scientific community and public at large.
As an island nation, a connection with the ocean is an intrinsic part of what it means to be a New Zealander. We look to our oceans for nourishment, for recreation and for the economic opportunity it can provide. It’s where memories are made, where friendships are strengthened and where families source food for their table, together.
For decades, New Zealanders have enjoyed fishing for fun and sustenance. Future generations, however, may not be so lucky. Growing populations, commercial fishing pressure and environmental impact have seen fish stocks decline and mounting pressure put on our oceans.
“You don’t know what you’ve got till its gone” should be the catchcry of those advocating for a return to abundance – after decades of over fishing and environmental damage.
The Guardians of the Sea Charitable Trust (Nga Kaitiaki Mo Tangaroa) – “The Trust”
We envisage a future with healthy, sustainable fisheries, where the ocean and its bounty can continue to benefit all New Zealanders.
We believe that through education, innovation and public awareness a return to abundance (more fish in the water) is an attainable outcome. To date, work to ensure these objectives have been severely under-resourced.
The trust (established in 2006) provides an attractive, tax efficient and independent body to ensure that donations are properly directed in support of the objects of the trust in the most cost effective way. Donations enable us to advocate for and support change where it counts.
The objectives of the trust focus on ensuring that the trust only provide grants where a grant seeker will promote, provide and ensure the sustainable use of and the public’s accessibility to the New Zealand fishery.
Initiatives and Impact
Supporting the growth of best practice in fisheries management is building a culture of sustainability and a legacy for future generations to maintain. Donations are tax deductible in the hands of the donor. Donors support groups and initiatives that are helping build a more sustainable and abundant fishery to maintain this treasured part of the kiwi lifestyle and identity.
Through the generosity of donors, the Trust has been privileged to support many groups and initiatives over the years.
Examples of these are;
- assisting in better utilisation of fish – “www.free fishheads.co.nz”
- supporting Legasea Ltd with their key initiatives – education, advocacy, better fish utilisation (Kai Ika project), Hiwi the Kiwi, etc.
- supporting Legasea in the development of “the value of recreational fishing” document
- supporting estuary enhancements
- supporting better commercial fishing practices – net development to protect juvenile escapement and to better protect the sea floor (benthic zones).
There are many coastal communities and interest groups whose welfare depends upon the abundance of our oceans. These groups include:
- Recreational fishers in many holiday spots around the coast looking to enjoy good sport and bounty for the table.
- Those with an economic interest in the fishery – from tackle stores, boat shops, hospitality, accommodation, charters, associated service businesses and local communities.
- Māori – are uniquely placed having commercial, lifestyle and recreational interests in the New Zealand fishery. Maori interests are inextricably bound to future abundance in the New Zealand fishery.
As the trust name states – the issue of guardianship of our waters is a key driver and responsibility of the trustees in placement of grants.
Collectively, we’ve committed to leading, educating and inspiring New Zealanders to achieve sustainable fisheries and a coastline for all to enjoy. With robust governance in place, we ensure that every dollar raised goes towards the protection of our precious ocean resources.