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Kiwi Party opposes blue cod and set nets ban

Gordon Copeland Press Release
For Immediate Release
Thursday, 4th September 2008

Kiwi Party opposes blue cod and set nets ban

Kiwi Party politician, Gordon Copeland yesterday signalled his Party’s opposition to the ban on fishing for blue cod and the use of set nets within the Marlborough Sounds.

Speaking at a Party meeting in Blenheim last evening, Mr Copeland expressed his dismay that non-commercial fishermen are to be banned from these activities.

“New Zealanders have a common law right to fish for food which is clearly reflected in legislation,” said Mr Copeland. “Accordingly this ban is in itself an illegality.”

“In addition, the process followed by the Ministry of Fisheries and the Minister in proposing this ban is itself deeply flawed.”

“Papers given to me show very clearly that their actions are based on political and ideological considerations, rather than on proper, in-depth research. That is simply not good enough.”

“If blue cod stocks are under threat, then the case for a ban must be made based upon proper research and scientific evidence. That has not been done in this case.”

“Furthermore, I’m staggered to learn that commercial blue cod potters from Otago have come up the coast and are fishing in Marlborough’s blue cod spawning areas! I’m advised these commercial cod potters catch several tonnes a week and it is surely that activity, which should be subject to a ban.”

“Similar comments apply to the ban on set nets. There are no instances of dolphins being caught in a recreational set net in the Marlborough Sounds. Those nets are set against kelp and rocks, close to the shore which is not dolphin territory.”

“It is a matter of principle with the Kiwi Party that decisions such as these, which set aside the rights that fishermen have had to provide food for their tables for generations, must not be arbitrarily set aside. That is simply unacceptable.”

“In the absence of any credible research, the bans on blue cod and set nets ordered by the Minister of Fisheries should be revoked forthwith.”

ENDS

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