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Fishing Industry Slams Forest And Bird Tactics

July 1st 2005 – NZ Rock Lobster Industry Council

Fishing Industry Slams Forest And Bird Tactics

The Executive Officer of the NZ Rock Lobster Industry Council, Daryl Sykes, has reacted angrily to statements made by Dunedin Forest and Bird spokesperson, Rebecca Bird, on June 29th.

“Ms Bird’s assertion that opposition to the DOC proposal lacks any “scientific reason” is hypocrisy as an art form given that the marine reserve proposal itself is unsupported by any credible scientific evidence in relation to existing or potential risks or threats to the marine environment that might justify complete protection”.

Mr. Sykes was particularly critical of the Forest and Bird Society’s persistent attempts to assign fisheries management benefits to marine reserves.

“Setting aside the fact that the Marine Reserves Act 1971 has no fisheries management objectives, there is published scientific evidence that no-take marine reserves can confound credible fisheries management outcomes,” said Mr. Sykes.

“Ms Bird continues the tiresome Forest and Bird Society tradition of selective misrepresentation and half-truths in her denunciation of opponents to the proposed Nuggets marine reserve”, said Mr. Sykes. “The waning enthusiasm for this marine reserve proposal now being shown by Ministers Carter and Benson-Pope may be the catalyst for her recent outburst, but as so often is the case with the Forest and Bird Society, Ms Bird hangs her criticism of opponents and her support for the proposal on a mishmash of ideology, rhetoric and misinformation”.

With reference to the state of the rock lobster stocks along the Otago coastline Mr. Sykes confirmed that a recent scientific assessment of the Otago (CRA 7) and Southland (CRA 8) rock lobster fisheries indicated a high probability of the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) being increased by more than 20% as from April 2006.

“Ms Bird’s commentary on the status of these fisheries reveals her to be less than credible as a spokesperson for the marine environment. Her parent organisation is further shamed as a consequence of her emotive and unprofessional utterances.”

ENDS

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