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Minister taking "practical approach"

Minister appears to be taking practical approach, says seafood industry

7th December 2006

“We are pleased the Minister of Fisheries is now proposing a range of more practical measures to reduce the accidental hooking of seabirds, rather than closing the surface longline fishery for 3 months as an emergency measure,” said Owen Symmans, chief executive of the New Zealand Seafood Industry Council.

“It is positive the government seems to be taking a practical approach to tackling the issue, instead of punishing all operators in the fishery for the actions of one or two foreign chartered fishing operators who chose to ignore the responsible fishing practices normally applied by the New Zealand industry.

“We are eager to participate immediately in the consultation process on the details of the mitigation measures that the Minister will require. The industry can contribute and wants to reduce the capture of seabirds in this fishery. Night setting and the use of tori lines are normal operating practice. But requiring five days notice prior to fishing may be impractical, especially at the peak of the fishing season,” said Mr Symmans.

Ends

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