Kawau boaties move to ban dredging

Jon Whisker says the club is committed to taking up the cause.

The Kawau Boating Club has unanimously voted to ban scallop dredging around the island and in Kawau Bay.

It is a voluntary ban that members have agreed to, and the club is calling on Mahurangi residents to join them.

Club captain Jon Whisker says the club is assembling marine ecology experts and will begin lobbying the government for an enforced regional ban.

He says dredges rip up the seafloor and crush scallop eggs before they can mature.

“It’s a great recreational fishery, but if we keep dragging on the ocean floor, there won’t be any scallops left to catch,” he says.

He says there are other non-destructive ways to collect scallops, such as diving.

“My wife and I are divers and we have seen what dredging does to the seafloor. It’s not a pretty sight.

“When you’re on a boat you can’t see the destruction. But if you could, you wouldn’t think it was good practice.”

He is encouraging anyone who wants to get behind the campaign to get in touch with him at the club.

John says the Kawau Boat Club itself is thriving after having nearly collapsed five years ago.

The club now has 800 members.

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