Enforcement of fish quota system welcomed
Maori Party welcomes enforcement of fish quota system
Hon Tariana Turia, Fisheries spokesperson 10 June 2008
The Maori Party welcomes news of massive fines imposed on the skipper and officers of a large deep-sea trawler found guilty of dumping fish and mis-reporting their catch, says Fisheries spokesperson Tariana Turia.
“The current generation are the guardians of our environment for our descendants,” she said. “This kind of rape and pillage of natural resources is an abomination, and the fine reflects our collective condemnation,” said Mrs Turia.
“With new and more powerful technology available, especially in the commercial and also the recreational sectors, fish stocks are ever more vulnerable to unscrupulous fishers. The integrity of the quota management system must be upheld, to avoid the kind of all-out massacre of fish which nearly collapsed our fisheries in the past. Responsible people need to know that cowboys and bandits cannot get away with it,” she said.
“It seems from news reports that members of the trawler crew were very concerned about what they saw, and they helped officials to bring these prosecutions. I think that shows real integrity, and they should be congratulated for blowing the whistle.
“Speaking as someone outside the industry, their actions help to maintain confidence that not all commercial fishers are so greedy they are prepared to sacrifice the future of the fishery itself.
“I hope these successful prosecutions send a clear signal to all fishers to take responsibility for this taonga, for the sake of our grandchildren,” said Mrs Turia.