Residents of Matakatia in Whangaparāoa are asking for set netting to be restricted in the little bay, accusing fishers of ongoing antisocial and intimidating behaviour, camping, driving on the beach and rocks, leaving rubbish and blocking public access.
They are also concerned about the effects on fish stocks.
Representatives appealed to the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board at its community forum on August 5, asking for set netting control, similar to the seasonal bans introduced at Arkles Bay, Te Haruhi Bay and Army Bay. They also want fisheries inspectors to check on the situation.
Set netting entails weighing down nets in the water and leaving them, collecting the fish later. The seasonal ban was introduced at Arkles Bay following years of complaints about set netting causing obstructions to others using the water, vehicles driving on the beach and intimidating behaviour by fishers.
The Matakatia residents say they have been dealing with exactly the same issues for more than five years.
They presented a record of photos and complaints logged with Auckland Council, dating from 2015.
Their records indicate that there were at least 17 groups of netters in the bay last February and some continued the practice over winter.
The southern side of the peninsula is attractive for fishing because of its proximity to the Long Bay-Okura marine reserve and residents believe the bans nearby caused fishers to relocate to Matakatia.
“Last summer the beach was blocked every day of every weekend and holiday, with tents and bedding for 60-80 people spread across grass between the beach and the road, surrounded by 12-14 parked vehicles. The toilet was used to excess over 24 hours as they slept on the grass verge or in their vehicles,” the presentation says.
The residents say the number of fishers, and the nets themselves, are causing a public nuisance.
“People using the beach have been stoned and/or sworn at for going anywhere near the nets,” the dossier says.
Local board chair Gary Brown says the board is concerned, and members will talk to local Councillors John Watson and Wayne Walker and support the residents in any way they can.
Back stories April 15, 2015