Recreational fishers want the Crown to buy back commercial fishing quota from big businesses in an effort to stimulate regional economies and improve dwindling fish numbers.
The plan has the backing of a top economist, but the Fisheries Minister isn't convinced.
The amount of fish that can be taken is governed by the Quota Management System (QMS) which, introduced in 1986 to keep stocks sustainable, recreational fishers say hasn't worked.
"It's a complete overhaul, absolutely. And we feel that we have got to move now. We're running out of time," says Legasea lead spokesperson Sam Woolford.
Legasea and the Sport Fishing Council have suggested an alternative policy.
Central to the proposal is that the Crown buys back commercial fishing shares, so they're not dominated and controlled by a handful of companies
Sixty percent of all quota is owned by three companies: Sealord Group, Talley's and Sanford. Those companies then lease their quota to other fishermen, who land fish for them - but Legasea wants that competition opened up.
Woolford proposes a licensing structure where fishermen have more freedom to decide who they sell to. They estimate the Crown could buy back quota for $3.1 billion.
"What we're proposing is that these fishermen could sell it to the fish and chip shop down the road, to the wet fish shop," Woolford said.
Principal Economist at the NZ Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) Peter Wilson, who was commissioned to research the QMS for Legasea, says it could work.
"There are always competing demands for money, that's true. But this is a good idea and we think it should be on the table," he said. "This one in particular has the benefit of promoting regional industries."
But Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says they shouldn't hold their breath.
"I don't think I would get permission from the Finance Minister to spend $4-6 billion buying out Talley's and Sanford and Sealords," he told Newshub.
Legasea also wants bottom trawling banned in coastal waters, but Sanford says most of the areas where trawling is used are "featureless sand plains", and it actively avoids sensitive areas.
It also says the QMS is "very effective at managing fish stocks to keep them healthy".
But NZIER's Wilson doesn't agree.
"It hasn't delivered the abundant fishing that it promised; fish stocks are declining across the country [and] we are seeing environmental damage," he said.
Nash agreed: "Parts of it don't work. That's why we've done a whole lot of work around deem values, around dumping and discards."
But according to some, a lot more work is required - urgently.