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Prosecute Foreign Fishing Vessels – NZ First

26 June 2008

Prosecute Foreign Fishing Vessels – NZ First

Foreign vessels fishing illegally in New Zealand waters should be prosecuted instead of receiving a mild slap on the wrist, says New Zealand First fisheries spokesperson Pita Paraone.

Mr Paraone today asked the Fisheries Minister why only two of 42 foreign-owned vessels caught fishing illegally over the past three years had been prosecuted, while the others were only warned or had no action taken against them.

“Nobody should be allowed to plunder New Zealand resources and escape without a penalty. They should be given a clear message that we do not tolerate such practices.”

Mr Paraone said that New Zealand poachers were rightfully prosecuted by Ministry of Fisheries officials and foreign fishing interests should be given the same treatment.

“The waters around New Zealand must be managed carefully for future generations as well as providing food and economic benefits for the people now.

“If we do not look after the resources of the sea around us and make foreign-owned fishing vessels accountable for their actions there will be nothing left for any of us.

“We call on the Minister to instruct his officials to prosecute those fishing illegally. If some vessels were seized it might help stop the practice,” said Mr Paraone.


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