You would be aware of the New Zealand Fishing Industry request to Government to keep secret material including video collected from commercial fishing vessels.
Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has been developing a new digital monitoring regime, called the Integrated Electronic Monitoring and Reporting System, which would record information including video of fishing activities on-board all commercial fishing vessels. Presently under 5% of vessels are monitored.
Through the Official Information Act, Forest and Bird obtained correspondence between the Fishing Industry and MPI. The correspondence shows the industry seeking to prevent the public from ever seeing images of by-kill of dolphins, seals, penguins and a range of bird life and fish being discarded. Correspondence and images are available on the Forest and Bird website.
The Quota Management System is 31 years old and there are calls for it to be overhauled to reflect the industry today.
Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says he’s already facing pushback from various sectors over data relating to the Industry. He further commented, there are ‘issues’ within the MPI and didn’t rule out the possibility of an inquiry.
The above reminds me of comments my son made when doing work experience at an Auckland fish processing facility many years ago. His one comment that I guess said it all was, “Dad, if the New Zealand public could see the bycatch and the sheer volume of discarded marine life it would be shocked.”
The Fishing Industry’s practices and attitude is the problem. They are part of the continuing degrading of New Zealand’s so called green image, which they say is of concern to them re their international reputation! Most thinking people know that New Zealand’s green image has been steadily degraded and to continue to promote that image of New Zealand is total BS, until we as New Zealanders clean up our act!
Editor at Large