Forest & Bird says the public has a chance to tell the Government to sort out the fishing industry in a consultation process announced by the Minister of Fisheries today.
Minister Nash has further delayed the roll out of cameras on boats until the consultation on fisheries management has been completed.
Forest & Bird’s marine advocate Karen Baird says, “The fishing industry has been spending lots of money promising every New Zealander that they would be more transparent, while some of the industry’s biggest players have been working behind the scenes to make sure that never happens.”
“This is an industry that kills thousands of seabirds and hundreds of marine mammals each year, and smashes up ancient corals. It throws unwanted fish overboard. Most of this happens out of sight because there are no cameras or observers on most vessels.”
“There’s no point fiddling with the rules for fishing, if fishers know the chances of getting caught are really low.”
“It’s clear that the fishing industry’s expensive PR campaign promising New Zealanders greater transparency about how their seafood is caught, was actually rubbish. They have spent mountains of cash promising to be more open, but they’re working hard to avoid oversight – this won’t change until the public tells the Government to fix it,” says Ms Baird.
“Without better monitoring, species like the Antipodean albatross will go extinct at the hands of the fishing industry. This is the inevitable result if Talley’s, Te Ohu Kaimoana and Sealord get their way.”
“Every other country in the Pacific is rolling out cameras on boats. Fiji is planning to have up to 50 percent of their fleet covered this year. But Minister Nash clearly doesn’t have the mandate from his colleagues to match even small Pacific Island nations.”
“The fishing industry urgently needs to up its game, and we urge the public to take this opportunity to tell that to the Government.”