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Stop Burying Your Head In The Sand

Stop Burying Your Head In The Sand

Illegal poachers are hammering fisheries resources to death and the issue receives insufficient attention, said New Zealand First law and order spokesperson Ron Mark.

“The New Zealand Herald article of 11 January should be a wake-up call to the Government and the other armchair critics who have scoffed at claims that hordes of plunderers, particularly Asians and Pacific Islanders, are blatantly taking 10 or 20 times the daily shellfish limits,” said Mr Mark.

“There are beaches so barren that shellfish beds are now beyond regeneration, fisheries officers risk being physically beaten while doing their job and are struggling to crack black market operations. Poachers are taking quantities and sizes of shellfish that defy belief.

“Despite such unprecedented pressure on the resource, the Ministry of Fisheries has slashed the number of honorary fisheries officers and those, like myself, who speak out about the pillaging of our coastlines are accused of being racist or exaggerating.

“I have spoken publicly about the decimation of shellfish beds and the issue has been given superficial coverage and the Christchurch media even implied that I made it all up.

“It is disgraceful and irresponsible that the country’s major media sources are passing off headline-grabbing accusations of political racism as news when the real issue is the continued plundering of New Zealand’s fisheries.

“It is high time that fisheries’ depletion receives the attention it warrants and disillusioned fisheries officers are given the resources and support that they need,” said Mr Mark.

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