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More officers for falling fisheries prosecutions?

Hon Jim Anderton

Minister of Agriculture
Minister for Biosecurity
Minister of Fisheries
Minister of Forestry
Associate Minister of Health
Associate Minister for Tertiary Education

Progressive Leader

10 March 2006 Media Statement

More officers for falling ethnic fisheries prosecutions?

Falling ethnic fisheries prosecutions are a ridiculous justification for more fisheries officers, Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton said today.

National Fisheries spokesperson Phil Heatley yesterday called for an increased number of fisheries officers to act as a deterrent claiming Asians, Maori and Pacific Islanders were over-represented in fisheries prosecution statistics.

"For some reason Mr Heatley is hot under the collar about the number of fisheries officers which this Government has already increased 41 percent since his party was last in office. Yet the statistics provided to him show that ethnic fisheries prosecutions have more than halved from 655 in 2003 to 314 in 2005. He should have known that, because he released the figures.

"With Mr Heatley's ability with statistics he would be at risk of breaching daily catch limits and be at risk of prosecution himself".

"The Ministry is concerned about non-commercial fishing practices, particularly among ethnic communities. The falling number of prosecutions show that education efforts are working, and they will continue," Mr Anderton said.

ENDS

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