Community service woefully inadequate for albatross deaths

Forest & Bird says the sentence handed to a fisherman who killed 38 endangered albatross is woefully inadequate, and will not deter future criminal behaviour on the ocean.

Kevin Hague, CEO of Forest & Bird, says fishing industry cowboys will not stop breaking the law until they are given a reason to do so.

"This sentence amounts to eight hours of community service per bird. The fact that he was prosecuted in the first place is a rarity, and we applaud the Ministry of Primary Industries for doing so. However his sentence will do very little to deter fishing industry criminals from continuing to flout the laws protecting our oceans and the animals that live there."

"Albatross are especially vulnerable to being caught by fishing boats, which is why there are rules to protects them. Critically endangered species such as the Antipodean albatross are likely to have been included in the deaths, one of many of our albatross species regularly killed in this fishery."

"Our oceans are in crisis and New Zealand needs to do everything it can to protect our embattled ocean species. We need more observer coverage and electronic monitoring, at least 30% of our ocean space in no-take marine reserves, and appropriate consequences when our environmental laws are broken."