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Fishing industry: Trust us - Greens not impressed

6 June 2006

Fishing industry says 'Trust us' - Greens not impressed

Allowing the fishing industry to police itself is a bit like putting Bonnie and Clyde in charge of bank security, Green Party Fisheries Spokesperson Metiria Turei says.

Mrs Turei was responding to calls by fishing industry leaders that the industry should be a greater say in the management of fish stocks.

"This industry has no track record to inspire that level of trust. Orange roughy for instance, has been plundered globally at levels that have led to the virtual collapse of that entire fishery.

"It seems that the industry is upset about the penalties being imposed on them for bycatch - that is, for the fish they take when they are targeting another species and for which they do not have a quota license. Kahawai commonly suffer this fate.

"Kahawai however, are not the only victims of this practice. Thanks to bycatch associated with the harvesting of squid, the Hookers Sealion has been driven to the brink of extinction.

"The fishing industry has to lift its game on the conservation of fish stocks before any resort to 'light handed regulation' can be contemplated," Mrs Turei says.

"The Government must continue to set the overall framework within which the industry operates.

"If the fishing industry wish to participate in this debate they should stop whining about the penalties they are incurring by their own actions, and start to think about how they can best acknowledge and embrace sustainable fishing practices."


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