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High seas fishing measures will be costly

23 April 2008

High seas fishing measures will be costly for industry

The interim measures are crude, will limit fishing opportunities in the high seas near New Zealand and will be costly, said New Zealand Seafood Industry Council chief executive Owen Symmans.

“The New Zealand industry has supported the negotiation of a regional management agreement for fisheries in the southern Pacific. The interim measures announced today are the result of international negotiations over the last three or four years, including at the United Nations.

“We continue to support the negotiation of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Agreement as it will be only way that we can get international agreement on how the high seas fisheries can be developed when the interim measures end in 2010.”

Implementation of the measures has been negotiated with industry over the last several months. They will severely reduce the area where New Zealanders can go fishing, but the area where most fishing has occurred will remain available for fishing, said Mr Symmans.

The New Zealand industry has yet to see any details of measures that other fishing industries in other countries will have to meet. The high seas deepsea fishery in the Pacific is fished from Australia and by distant water fishing vessels flagged to Belize, Korea, Ukraine and Russia.

Mr Symmans commented, “The New Zealand industry will be angry if others who fish in our back pond don’t have to meet similar restrictions on their freedom to fish. The New Zealand government is expecting its industry to pay a very high price for being responsible high seas fishers and we need to be assured that we are not alone in having to make economic sacrifices”

ENDS

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