NZ Election 2020: Recreational fishers applaud Green Party's fisheries policy

The Green Party's flagship fisheries policy was released on Sunday to applause from recreational fishers.

Under its plan, you'd be allowed to catch fewer fish in the Hauraki Gulf in the hopes of eventually being able to catch more.

Commercial fishers would be hit hardest, with practices like bottom trawling banned completely in the Gulf Marine Park, 30 percent of the country's oceans protected in the next decade and a review of the quota system.

LegaSea, which represents recreational fishers, loves the policy - especially a review of the quota system.

"There will be so many fish we won't know what to do with them - these are robust little animals, they just need to be given a chance," spokesperson Scott MacIndoe says.

That support despite stricter catch limits for some species in the Hauraki Gulf.

The Greens are promising to make 30 percent of the ocean marine protected, ban bottom trawling on seamounts and set-nets in some areas, review the quota system and put a 10-year ban on seabed mining.

They'll zero in on the Hauraki Gulf, where a ban on bottom trawling and dredging would be urgent.

"There are almost no koura out there. I don't know if my great-grandchildren will get to eat a feed of snapper or tarakihi," co-leader Marama Davidson says.

Newshub spoke to those enjoying a fresh spring day by the water in Lyttelton.

Mark Henderson was fishing with his children. He's worried about losing the ability to fish from his spot on the shore if marine protected areas are expanded.

"It's eight hours away from the house with a couple of nibbles," he says.

But others who use the water see the benefits of more areas with stricter controls.

"It's gonna be a lot better off for the fishermen down here," windsurfer Dan Williams says,

especially if commercial fishers can't trawl the seabed.

"That's scraping the bottom of the barrel, ain't it, when they're scraping the bottom of the ocean? Can't find anything else; let's scrape the bottom."

This is core Green Party stuff, but the problem for the Greens is actually getting policy like this over the line - and that's if the Greens even make it to the negotiating table.

Davidson says if they do, the policy will be an "absolute priority".