Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


DOC allows commercial fishing of endangered eels

27 January, 2010

DOC allows commercial fishing of endangered eels

The Department of Conservation (DOC) is allowing commercial fishers to harvest endangered eels from rivers on conservation land, the Green Party said today.

The Green Party has discovered that late last year DOC issued three concessions for commercial eel fishers to take eels from rivers located in the West Coast Tai Poutini Conservancy, Green Party Conservation Spokesperson Kevin Hague said.

“DOC would never dream of allowing commercial hunters to kill great spotted kiwi or little blue penguins. Our native eels are just as threatened, so why is DOC treating them differently?” Mr Hague asked.

Three species of eel are affected: the native longfin and shortfin eel, and the Australian longfin eel.

The native longfin eel is found nowhere else in the world and is listed by DOC as a threatened species in gradual decline, the same level of threat as the great spotted kiwi, little blue penguin, rifleman, and banded dotterel.

While the native shortfin eel is not endangered there are concerns that females of the species have been overfished relative to males, leaving an imbalance that could affect future numbers.

“Allowing commercial fishing of these eels on the conservation estate is an appalling decision by the government department charged with protecting our most threatened species,” Mr Hague said.

“It really begs the question of why DOC has done this. I would not be surprised if there is a revenue stream for DOC in granting these permits. Is the department so starved of funding that it is turning to desperate measures?

“It also shows that government departments aren’t talking to each other. DOC is trying to hide behind the fact that the eel fishery is administered by the Ministry of Fisheries, but only DOC has control over fishing permits on conservation land.

“Just yesterday John Key removed Tim Groser as Conservation Minister, saying he needed more time to focus on his Trade and Climate Change Negotiation portfolios.

“In fact he has done a disservice to the Conservation portfolio in presiding over decisions like this.

“One can only hope that the new Minister Kate Wilkinson will do a better job,” Mr Hague said.

Answers to written questions to the Minister of Conservation showing that eel fishing permits have been issued on DOC land:

DOC’s classification of threatened species:


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Mosque Movie, And The Demise Of Netanyahu

Plainly, a whole lot of New Zealanders – including PM Jacinda Ardern - are not on board with They Are Us, the mooted film project intended about the Christchurch mosque shootings. Here’s how the original Hollywood Reporter story described the gist of They Are Us... More>>


Government: To Apologize For Dawn Raids

The Government will make a formal apology for the wrongs committed during the Dawn Raids of the 1970’s.
Between 1974 and 1976, a series of rigorous immigration enforcement policies were carried out that resulted in targeted raids on the homes of Pacific families... More>>


Trade: EU And UK FTAs Top Of List For First Ministerial Trip Since COVID-19

Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor today announced details of his planned visit to the United Kingdom and European Union next week, where he will hold trade and agriculture discussions to further New Zealand’s economic recovery from COVID-19... More>>

Transport: Clean Car Package To Drive Down Emissions

The Government is taking action in line with the advice of the Climate Change Commission to increase the uptake of low emission vehicles by introducing a range of measures that will help meet New Zealand’s 2050 carbon neutral target... More>>


Jewish Council: New Zealand Not Immune From Rise In Antisemitism

The representative body of New Zealand Jewry, the NZ Jewish Council (NZJC), has expressed concern about the high number of antisemitic incidents in New Zealand recorded last month. Spokesperson for the NZJC, Juliet Moses, said... More>>

NZNO: Nurses Reject DHB Offer And Confirm Strike Action

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation says its 30,000 members who work in DHBs have voted overwhelmingly to reject a second offer in their current round of multi-employer collective agreement (MECA) negotiations... More>>





InfoPages News Channels