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Cullen Gets Tangled In A Net Of Shonky Logic

Media Release
28/6/2000


CULLEN GETS TANGLED IN A NET OF SHONKY LOGIC.


The New Zealand Seafood Industry Council is dismayed that the Government has chosen to railroad through a piece of fisheries legislation that denies fishermen natural justice.

The Government has an obligation to Maori to give them 20 percent of all new species as they are moved into the quota management system.

The Government moved this week to push the Fisheries Amendment Bill (No2) through Parliament under urgency, after refusing to consult with the industry over the issue. The Government has decided to pay only 50 percent of the market value of the forfeited quota to the existing permit holders.

SeaFIC Science and Policy Manager Dr Michael Harte said today that the governments handling of the compensation payments, due to the industry as a result of this bill clearing the way to transfer eight species into the quota management system, was woeful.

“Acting Fisheries Minister Michael Cullen shows a stunning lack of understanding on this issue if he thinks that fishermen gain out of this. What he fails to grasp is the loss of income fishermen face as a result of 20 percent of their entitlement being snatched from them.”

“What is even more astounding is that the government recognises that quota is a property right but then makes an arbitrary decision to only pay 50 percent of the market value to the fishermen involved.”

“Both the fishing industry and the general public must feel uncomfortable when Mr Cullen fails to grasp simple facts.”

“The margins for many small operators are already tight and this latest move will see many join the dole queue,” Dr Harte said.

For further information phone : Dr Harte 025 498 087
Or Communications Manager Tina Nixon 025 2232789

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