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Non-commercial fishing interests mistaken

Hon Jim Anderton


Minister of Agriculture, Minister for Biosecurity
Minister of Fisheries, Minister of Forestry
Associate Minister of Health
Associate Minister for Tertiary Education
11 September 2008 Media Statement

Non-commercial fishing interests mistaken

Non-commercial interests opposing the Fisheries Act Amendment Bill are mistaken about what the Bill proposes, Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton said today.

"The whole point of the bill is to enable the Minister of Fisheries to make decisions to change the quota to ensure sustainability of fishstocks in circumstances where the courts have currently ruled he can't because he doesn't have rock-solid scientific evidence of the status of the fishstocks involved.

"Currently, taking a precautionary approach when there is not enough "scientific research" available, and lowering the quota to ensure sustainable fisheries continually puts the minister in court."

Jim Anderton said even when certain fishstocks were in trouble because there wasn't enough scientific evidence available, he could not lower the quota.

"Getting adequate research done to satisfy the latest court rulings would be hard and prohibitively expensive in some cases. In the case of orange roughy, it might not be possible to get the required information until the species was entirely fished out!

"Research is cost-recovered from the industry, so when much more research is required, the bill to the industry to comply with the court's ruling would be enormous. It would almost certainly result in many businesses going out of business."


ENDS

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