Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Fishing industry seeks to hide dead dolphins, penguins

Fishing industry seeks to hide dead dolphins, penguins, sea lions from public scrutiny

Forest & Bird has released images of dead dolphins, NZ sea lions, and yellow-eyed penguins along with a letter from key leaders in the fishing industry to the Ministry of Primary Industries seeking to prevent the public from ever seeing similar images of by-kill and fish discarding.

“These are the images the fishing industry doesn’t want you to see," says Forest & Bird CE Kevin Hague.

Dropbox link to photos of fisheries bykill and industry letter to MPI released through the Official Information Act.

On 4 July 2017, a range of commercial fishing organisations wrote to the Ministry of Primary Industries seeking a change to the Fisheries Act to prevent the public release of information collected by MPI about fisheries activities.

The letter, sent by George Clement of the Deepwater Group; Dr Jeremy Helson from Fisheries Inshore New Zealand; Storm Stanley from the Paua Industry Council, Tim Pankhurst from Seafood New Zealand and Daryl Sykes from the New Zealand Rock Lobster Industry Council suggested that, “the Fisheries Act be amended to clarify the purposes for which the [electronic monitoring] information (and other information on commercial fishing activities) will be obtained by MPI and to expressly provide for the OIA to not apply to this information.”

The letter also adds that the release of footage of what is euphemistically described as “incidental interactions with seabirds, legitimate fish discards, treatment of unintended bycatch” could make “New Zealand’s international reputation as a reputable source of quality, sustainably-produced seafood could be significantly impaired.”

“In plain English, what they are saying is catching endangered penguins, dumping entire hauls of fish overboard and killing Hector's dolphins looks really bad on TV. Well, the solution is to stop doing it, not to hide the evidence. It’s hard to think of a more credibility damaging activity than trying to change the law to so the rest of us can’t see what’s really happening out there," says Mr Hague.

“Commercial fishing is one of the most poorly regulated industries in New Zealand, and one of the least transparent. New Zealanders were shocked by the Operation Achilles cover up, where illegal fish dumping and non-reporting of Hector's dolphin bykill only came to light through leaked information and persistent investigative journalism.

The letter also states, “Such information, if it were to be selectively compiled into short succinct soundbites/videos by biased editing, would provide those opposed to commercial fishing or to government with a powerful tool for their propaganda.”

“Commercial fishing is vulnerable to criticism, not because it's being misrepresented by media or environmental advocates, but because New Zealanders are shocked by what the fishing industry has got away with," says Mr Hague.

Although much of the letter was framed in terms of protecting privacy and commercial sensitivity, the Official Information Act already protects privacy and commercial sensitivity and has done since 1982, something the Ombudsman’s Office confirmed to MPI in a briefing paper released at the same time. MPI already has stringent guidelines over the release of fisheries information.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Dealing Crackdown, Addiction Support: Government Action On Synthetics

The NZ Drug Foundation has welcomed the Government’s response to synthetic drug deaths. The response strikes a balance between giving law enforcement the tools they need to target criminal networks and changing drug law to make it easier for people to access help when they need it...

“The terrible deaths our families and communities have suffered tragically prove our drug laws are not fit-for-purpose: Too much emphasis has been given to law enforcement and prisons, with little support to communities for prevention, harm reduction, treatment and social interventions.” More>>


Surveying The Surveillance: First IGIS Review Of Warrants Under New Act

The report sets out the Inspector-General’s interpretation of the new warrant provisions under the ISA and her expectations of the GCSB and NZSIS when they prepare warrant applications. More>>

SSC: 2018 Public Service Workforce Data Published

State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes has published the 2018 Our People, Public Service Workforce Data , which shows the Public Service is making significant progress in important areas. More>>


Joint Select Committee Report: Achieving Smokefree 2025

In a historic first for select committees, the Māori Affairs Committee and the Health Committee presented their joint report on achieving the Smokefree 2025 goal to the House on Tuesday, 11 December 2018. More>>

"Shared Interests And Democratic Values": Peters To Visit USA

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington D.C. for talks with US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and other senior members of the US Administration. More>>

Science Advisors: Stopping Family Violence – The Evidence

A new report “Every 4 minutes: A discussion paper on preventing family violence in New Zealand” by Justice sector Chief Science Advisor, Dr Ian Lambie, discusses the evidence and asks us, as a community, to get involved. More>>


Misuse Of Drugs Act: Medicinal Cannabis Legislation Passes

“Ultimately, this legislation will greatly increase availability of quality medicinal cannabis products, and will allow for their domestic manufacture. It will help people ease their suffering by making a wider range of quality medicinal cannabis products available over time." More>>


Conflicts, Inadequacies: IPCA Finds Police Investigation Flawed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that a Police investigation into inappropriate contact between a teacher and a student in Gisborne in 2014 was deficient in several respects. More>>


PM's Press Conference Multimedia: Grace Millane, ACC Levy Hold, Absent Execs

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern began her Monday post-cabinet press conference with an emotional comment on the murder of English backpacker Grace Millane. More>>





InfoPages News Channels