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

 

Decision to Delay Monitoring ‘Fatally Flawed’

New Fisheries Minister’s Decision to Delay Monitoring ‘Fatally Flawed’

Sunday 12 November 2017

Conservation group representatives say a decision by the new Minister of Fisheries, Stuart Nash, to delay implementation of camera monitoring of fishing efforts in New Zealand is ‘fatally flawed’.

Christine Rose, Chair of Maui and Hector’s Dolphin Defenders NZ, an NGO advocating for better protection of the world’s smallest marine dolphins, found only here in New Zealand, says “The Government's delay to the introduction of electronic fishing observer coverage is a huge set back for conservation.
Electronic observer coverage is essential to properly manage by-catch. Evidence from electronic monitoring trials showed horrific, unreported fish dumping and the death of Hector's dolphins”.

“Robust research from the University of Auckland Business School showed indiscriminate gill net fishing led to the capture and dumping of non-target species, undersize fish, and endangered dolphins such as Hector’s dolphins, all which jeopardises the marine ecosystem and undermines this country’s reputation for sustainable seafood”.

“Electronic monitoring of part of the fishing fleet has been a long time coming, and was finally, reluctantly agreed by the last National Government. It had been considered essential to get on top of by-catch, waste, under-reporting and non-compliance”. “The National Government was no friend of conservation, but the new Labour government has shown itself in this move, to be no friend of science, or conservation either”, says Mrs Rose.

“Research shows up to three times as many fish (and non-target species) are caught and dumped than are landed and recorded in catch records. That’s clearly unsustainable. Electronic monitoring trials proved this point, with clear evidence of undersize, non-target species caught, and even the capture, killing and discarding of Hector’s dolphins”. Mrs Rose refers to Operation Hippocamp and Operation Achilles, where observer coverage revealed “appalling’ practices wasting lives of marine species and squandering resources. “Labour criticised National’s response to the revelations in these reports, but now in power are making matters worse, pandering to the fishing lobby and putting whole species at risk”. “Those dolphins, and more, have died in vain”.

Rose says “Minister Nash seems not to have considered all the relevant evidence before making his decision to delay the observer coverage programme”. “He says he’s made this decision after consulting with stakeholders. But he has been selective in that consultation as he clearly hasn’t referred to the science, consulted with scientists, or conservation groups”. “Once again environmental management decisions have been made in isolation, with reference to just one sector, the powerful fishing lobby, rather than the wider interests involved”.

“Both the Minister, and the new Ministry of Fisheries have failed their first test – with this decision taken in isolation from historical evidence of dolphin threats, what’s needed for proper, responsible fisheries management, and wide spread public concern”.

“It’s not what we expected, or hoped for, from the new Labour-led Government”, says Mrs Rose of her organisation and its supporters. “We’ve asked new Conservation Minister, Eugenie Sage, what the Green Party’s position on this move is”.

“As it was, electronic monitoring failed to cover important fishing impacts from all sectors such as purse seine and pair trawlers. The 100% observer coverage for Maui dolphins promised by the National Government was never delivered. Endangered Maui and Hector’s dolphins, and other vulnerable marine species such as NZ sea lions, other dolphins, and penguins, need more protection, not less”. “Any responsible fisheries manager / Minister would be looking at extending marine protection and fisheries management, not pulling it back”.

“We encourage the new Minister to live up to this Government’s promise and do more to ensure sustainable stewardship of our oceans, for Maui and Hector’s dolphins, for the viability of the fishing industry, for the sake of other species, and for the credibility and integrity of the Labour-led Government”.
ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Crowdsale And Crowdfunding Campaign: Help Create The Future Of Independent News

Two weeks to go! The Scoop 3.0 plan aims to create NZ’s first community-owned, distributed news and media intelligence ecosystem in 2019. We believe this ScoopPro media monetisation approach can be scaled and spread globally to support local and independent news efforts in regional New Zealand and around the world.

Scoop is an ecosystem, it would not exist without those who contribute to it, read it and rely on it for professional media purposes. Generous past support from this ecosystem has enabled us to come this far in developing our business model. Support our PledgeMe Campaign>>

 

14/11: Two Years’ Progress Since The Kaikoura Earthquake

Mayor John Leggett said it was a day for reflection, but also a time to recognise the work by many people to support progress towards recovery made across Marlborough since November 2016. More>>

ALSO:

Pike River: Mine Drift Re-Entry Plan To Proceed

“I’ve decided the Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau Mā Iwa - Pike River Recovery Agency, recommended course of action to enter the drift, using the existing access tunnel, is by far the safest option,” said Andrew Little. More>>

ALSO:

Appointments: New High Commissioner To Australia Announced

“Dame Annette King needs no introduction given her long running career as a parliamentarian where she has previously held a number senior Cabinet portfolios, including Justice, Police and Health. She also was Parliament’s longest serving female MP with 30 years’ service,” said Mr Peters. More>>

ALSO:

Two Years Since Kaikoura: Silvia Cartwright To Lead Inquiry Into EQC

“The inquiry will be the first of its kind under the Public Inquiries Act 2013 and will have all the powers of a Royal Commission, be independent of Government and make its report directly to the Governor-General. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Royal Commission Into Child Abuse

Obviously, it is good news that the coalition government has broadened the scope of its Royal Commission into the abuse of children, beyond its previous focus on children in state care. More>>

ALSO:

Cases Delayed: Court Staff Refuse To Handle Sentencing Papers

Dozens of court cases have reportedly been delayed, as court staff escalate industrial action at two Auckland courts by enforcing a ban on handling sentencing papers. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Primary Teachers Rolling Strikes

RNZ Report: More than 100,000 primary school students in Auckland will be home from school today as teachers and principals walk off the job for the second time this year. It's the start of a week of rolling one-day strikes around the country, after the collapse of contract negotiations last Thursday. More>>

ALSO:

"Process Was Sound": Inquiry Into Haumaha Appointment Released

The Inquiry’s purpose was to examine, identify, and report on the adequacy of the process that led to the appointment. It found the process was sound and no available relevant information was omitted. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels