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BSA confirms accuracy of Greenpeace criticism

Broadcasting Standards Authority confirms accuracy of Greenpeace criticism of fishing industry

The BSA today confirmed the accuracy of criticism made by Greenpeace of the fishing industry and MPI over its awarding video monitoring systems to the industry-owned company, Trident Systems.

Trident complained to the BSA about a Radio New Zealand story on video monitoring in the fishing industry that ran earlier this year.

“This is an own goal by the fishing industry. Trident complained to the BSA that our criticism of the process of awarding of video monitoring contracts by the Ministry of Primary Industry was inaccurate and misleading. But the BSA investigated the complaint, at some considerable length, and found there was strong evidence to support my statements, and rejected the complaint,” said Dr Norman, Greenpeace Executive Director.

The fishing industry complaint centred on these comments by Dr Norman:

“MPI ran a trial, they ran one company Archipelago, an independent company - their video cameras versus Trident’s, a New Zealand fishing-industry-owned company that was running cameras - and they found that Archipelago found lots of illegal behaviour, dumping killing of Hectors’ dolphins, not reporting it, and Trident came back and found nothing.”

MPI then went on to award the contract for video monitoring in the Snapper 1 fishery to the fishing industry company Trident.

The BSA looked into the facts themselves and found that “the statement made by Dr. Norman while summarised and in his own words reflected the [BSA’s own] findings”.

“The fishing industry went to the BSA to complain that my statements were untrue, only for the BSA to investigate the issue and come to the same finding as I have.

“The real issue here is that MPI awarded the contract for video monitoring to the fishing industry owned company Trident, after Trident found no wrong-doing in the trial while the independent video monitoring company Archipelago did reveal illegal behaviour.

“This BSA ruling once again points to the need for a fundamental restructure of the fisheries division of MPI and for a fundamental review of the failed QMS system in New Zealand”

“The fishing industry captured the regulator long ago and only by breaking up the fisheries division of MPI and starting again can the people of New Zealand hope that their fisheries will be properly regulated.

The BSA found in favour of Trident on one issue of fairness, which was simply that the RNZ piece should have gone back to Trident to seek their response to my comments.


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