The death of four Hector’s dolphins in fishing nets in December shows why fishing boats need cameras, says Forest & Bird.
"These tragic deaths show there is a major problem in our fisheries, and raises serious questions over the industry’s dismal record of killing threatened native species," says Karen Baird, Forest & Bird Ocean Advocate.
“These deaths occurred in the same approximate area a pod of Hector’s was killed in a set net last year. Continued killing of protected native animals in fishing nets is not a price New Zealanders are willing to pay to keep a few fishing companies happy,” says Ms Baird.
"Forest & Bird is very concerned that the government electronic monitoring programme is being blocked by a few rotten apples in the fishing industry. The government should be listening to responsible fishers like Sanford who support cameras, not rotten apples like Talley’s."
“These four dolphins were correctly reported by the skippers, but the fact is MPI have no idea what is being pulled up in the nets of hundreds of boats all around our coastline. Without observers or cameras on most of these boats, we have no idea how many dolphins are killed every year, and no ability to protect them."