You anglers take some sort of landing device like a grappling hook for example for fishing from the pier, these items not seen in any other situation, but no thought for a return device.
How about a bit of simple kiwi nouse and use the fibre sack you take for your catch, firmly tie a cord to the bottom corner, drop your return species in the sack after removing hook of course, half hitch the top just on a corner and lower to the water.
When relaxed on the water and floating, the half hitch will drop off with a flick of the wrist and Bob’s yer arnty, out rolls return species safe and sound and un-stunned to live to fight another day, when big enough to grace the table with fillets.
Alternatively the bag could be tied in a triangluar bridle setup and lowered to the water where the fish can simply swim straight back out. Same side of sack, tie to top and bottom corner. Attach lift rope to centre of bridle when held up. It all sits flat on the water with sack mouth wide open for release of fish.
There you go, a wee bit of forward thinking …… aka kiwi nouse.
re landing ramp: This is a totally brilliant idea yet totally impractical as the pier was built at the level it is to allleviate damage from those nasty easterly swells and a lower level would be like the Lyttelton boat marina, destroyed at the first decent storm warning.
The safety concerns would be heightened also and a whole heap of new regulations enforced upon the unsuspecting. A drop shute made from PVC tubing or similar would be a cheaper and simpler option, like a slippery slide with running water lubricating the surface, no worries. Could all be done for the cost of a cheap reel.