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Baldock Calls For Cool Heads In Fishing Industry

Media Statement
For immediate release
Thursday, 26 August, 2004

Baldock calls for cool heads in fishing industry

United Future fisheries spokesman Larry Baldock today called on the fishing industry to be reasonable in its demand for kahawai, and to recognise that it is taking its share directly from the country's recreational fishers.

"One would hope this would temper their exaggerated claims of property rights being expropriated," Mr Baldock said in responding to Sanford managing director Eric Barratt's claims made yesterday.

"This is not about preventing any commercial fishing of kahawai. It is about eliminating the targeting of kahawai by purse seiners.

"And in doing that, I firmly believe Sanford's expectations should be addressed because the Ministry of Fisheries let them into the kahawai industry, so they should be reasonably compensated if we now want them out.

"However, when commercial fishermen talk property rights on kahawai, let's have them acknowledge at whose expense they are claiming those rights," Mr Baldock said. "A little good will will go a long way."

"And at $1.20 a kilogram, this is a not a high-value fish that is going to close factories, so let's keep the silliness out of it."

Mr Baldock said it has long been accepted reality that kahawai is a recreational fish.

United Future is promoting a Supplementary Order Paper to the Fisheries No3 Amendment Bill, revoking the immediate introduction of kahawai into the Quota Management System (QMS).

Commercial fishing interests also need to understand that if the kahawai stock is not rebuilt, their quota will be meaningless anyway, he said.


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