Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Reports Show Orange Roughy Fishing not Sustainable


Official Figures show Orange Roughy Fishing not Sustainable

Minister of Fisheries Wrong on Several Counts Environmental Economist

Claims by Fisehries Minister David Benson-Pope and Orange Roughy Management Company chief executive, George Clements that the New Zealand orange roughy fishery is sustainable are incorrect according to senior lecturer in economics and public policy, Cath Wallace who also chairs the Environment and Conservation Organisations, ECO.

“It is time the public knew the figures and did not have to rely on the false assurances of the fishing industry and the Minister who clearly has been wrongly advised.

“Officially accepted figures for the orange roughy stocks in 2003 were presented to the December 2003 DeepSea conference by Malcolm Clark of the National Institute of Water and Atmosphere*. The graphs show rapid declines of fish stocks. There is no way that the orange roughy fishing is sustainable. That was accepted by the international conference.

The official figures for 2003 show that of eleven fish stocks, seven are at levels of serious overfishing, two, the stocks are unknown and only two are at or above the legal minimum of 30% of unfished levels, and even then there is some doubt**. Two are closed because of severe overfishing. The Challenger Plateau stock was not closed until it reached a pitiful 3% of the original stock. The Puysegur stock was closed at 7% of unfished levels. The rest are at serious risk of collapse, in the region of 10-25% of the original biomass. The legal target is for a level “at or above 30% of unfished stocks.

The overfishing has been allowed for years despite the warnings of scientists and the protests of environmental organisations.

Minister of Fisheries David Benson-Pope is wrong to claim that protests by Greenpeace at the impacts of trawling are the first time the issue has been raised. For many years environmental organisations have drawn attention to the damage done by trawling and have asked without success for official action.

In 2000 the national alliance of environmental organisations, ECO and Forest and Bird asked that the need for an environmental impact assessment of trawling be placed on the agenda for the Ministry of Fisheries. “sustainability round annual decision making. The environmental organisations were refused the chance to even discuss it since the Ministry and Minister both refused to allow the meeting to discuss trawling impacts. In 2003 ECO passed a motion formally asking the government to close fishing grounds to trawling because of the damage that it does.

Some research was eventually commissioned and it shows damage NIWA is doing the research.

The damage to fish stocks represents a massive loss of natural capital – but it is only part of the loss. The loss is compounded by the enormous damage done to the unique communities of corals, hydroids and other animals on seamounts where the orange roughy live. This amounts to the loss of habitat and the loss of the economic and ecological future of the environment.

Pete Hodgson, the previous Minister of Fisheries did close to fishing 19 seamounts in response to concerns about orange roughy fishing impacts – but this is less than 2.5% of the total seamount area .

The Minister, media and the public should examine the facts of the fish stocks and the damage and not be mislead by the claims of the Orange Roughy Management Company, says Wallace.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news