Roadside fishing draws criticism

The Howick Local Board has been asked to address issues related to people fishing from The Parade in Bucklands Beach. Times photo Wayne Martin

Concerns are being raised about safety issues for pedestrians and motorists caused by people fishing from an east Auckland roadside.

Bucklands Beach resident Glenn Cochrane told Howick Local Board members about safety issues relating to roadside fishing on The Parade during the board’s most recent monthly business meeting.

The meeting was conducted online due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Cochrane said the “dangerous situation” is a safety issue rather than an anti-fishing issue.

He said there’s an area on the road where fishers stand and cast their lines into the water, which creates congestion as well as hazards for people walking or cycling nearby and motorists.

“You’ve got this dangerous issue of a coastal route being blocked by roadside fishermen.

“It’s quite normal to have a perfect storm of a high tide and a nice day and fishermen sitting there with chairs and chilly bins just completely block up and force everybody on the road.

“On top of that, fishing rods are getting longer and longer, which is all part of recreational fishing, they’re up to five-metres long, and these rods are being cast right out into the middle of the road.”

Cochrane said a group of people who live along The Parade are “pretty horrified” by the situation.

“We’re waiting for an accident to happen and it’s not a case of if, it’s when.

“Someone will get hurt or killed.”

He said on one occasion a fishing rod’s hook and sinker was caught on a passing vehicle’s roof rack.

“I can’t think of anywhere else in the whole of Auckland where you’re allowed to fish from the roadside.

“You’ve got 10 to 15 fishermen regularly down there impacting on hundreds of people.”

Cochrane said there are signs on the beach asking people to not fish from those specific locations in the interests of safety.

He suggested to the board the signs be extended “further along to the grass area of Grangers Point”.

Cochrane also said there are fish carcasses discarded in the area.

“They use mussels for fishing and mussel shells get left there and [they] smell.”

He said on one occasion he phoned police about the roadside fishing and the officers who attended told him it’s an Auckland Council problem.

“The residents are horrified by what’s going on,” he said.

“As residents we feel the council should fully investigate the issue before making a decision.

“It’s a dangerous issue and it’s getting worse.

“When we get a full tide on a nice day, and a lot of people walking, there’s going to be a fatal accident.”

Board chairperson Adele White told the Times the board shares the concerns of Bucklands Beach residents that this manner of fishing in that area is dangerous.

“I was initially contacted about this behaviour last year and involved local police and Fisheries Officers in an effort to communicate the dangers to the fishermen, and move them on to a safer place.

“We have had requests for fishing bans and signage, which are regulatory issues and are currently awaiting a Covid-19 level in which [council] officers can view the situation and speak to residents.”