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Fishers call for Review of Dolphin Science


24-Aug-01
PRESS STATEMENT
For Immediate Release


Fishers call for Independent Review of Dolphin Science

Commercial and recreational fishers are calling for a review of the science surrounding Ministry of Fisheries and Department of Conservation proposals to ban set net fishing along the Canterbury coast.

The call came during a public meeting organised by the Akaroa Recreational Fishing Club in Christchurch on Tuesday, where proposed Hector s Dolphin conservation measures were debated by Iwi, commercial and recreational fishing interests.

“This whole issue of set net closures is extremely serious “ we re talking about people s jobs “ their livelihoods,” said Pete Dawson, Chief Executive of South East Finfish Management Ltd.

“Commercial fishermen down here have known what was required of them and over the past four years have developed voluntary log book programmes, brought in codes of practice relating to set nets and dolphins, have voluntarily closed areas to fishing and have used acoustic pingers on their nets to warn dolphins away.

“And in all this they have been successful, as no dolphin mortalities have been observed in commercial set nets since 1997/98.

“With so much effort invested in this programme, the least we would expect is for the Government to ensure it had consulted widely and was receiving the best possible advice. “But what we have seen to date has been very poor consultation and as well as this, there are some big questions surrounding the advice.

“Now we are all realistic and mature enough to accept decisions that are well founded.

“But given recent events, we all want to be sure that any decisions relating to conservation matters are well-founded on solid science.”

South East Finfish Management Ltd. represents the interests of commercial fishing companies along the Canterbury coast.

For further information contact:

Pete Dawson Chief Executive SE Finfish Mgt Ltd P.O. Box 43 Lyttelton

Telephone: 03 3289494 Facsimile: 03 3289595 Mobile: 021 334381 E-mail: pete@fishcon.net

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