"Another year goes by and yet again big cuts are needed to New
Zealand´s major fisheries," said Hagler. "Over ten years after the
Fisheries Act was supposed to deliver sustainable fisheries, the
Ministry of Fisheries has failed to stem the decline in New
Zealand´s biggest fisheries," he said.
"The current state of collapse of the orange roughy fishery
brings into serious question the sustainability of the entire
orange roughy population around New Zealand. This is the third
closure of an orange roughy fishery in New Zealand, but the orange
roughy population and catches continue to plummet," Mr Hagler
Greenpeace is also concerned that yet another reduction of the
hoki allowable catch avoids the real problem in the hoki fishery,
which stems from overfishing of juvenile hoki.
"The fishing industry´s voluntary measures aimed at reducing the
catch of juvenile hoki simply haven´t worked," says Greenpeace
Oceans Campaigner, Mike Hagler. "It´s time to put the brakes on
targeting juvenile hoki by closing areas where large catches of
immature hoki are happening, or risk the complete collapse of the
hoki fishery in the near future", Hagler said.
Greenpeace says the Minister should close the entire West Coast
South Island hoki fishery as well as the fishery at the western end
of the Chatham Rise around Mernoo Bank where juvenile hoki
aggregate before moving into the main stocks of mature hoki to
In addition, a cap should be placed on the sub-Antarctic hoki
fishery to ensure that the fishing industry doesn´t transfer its
fishing capacity to that area.
"The New Zealand hoki fishery is starting to look like the
Canadian cod fishery off Newfoundland, which the Canadian
government had to shut down back in 1992, with the loss of 40,000
jobs, when the cod finally just vanished. And the cod haven´t
returned since. We shouldn´t be risking that happening in New
Zealand with hoki", Hagler said.
Greenpeace believes the troubles that hoki and orange roughy are
facing highlight the urgent need for a more effective fisheries
management regime in New Zealand. Greenpeace has for many years
urged the Government to mandate the Precautionary Principle in the
Fisheries Act, but stiff opposition by the fishing industry has
caused the Government to back-pedal on introducing the Fisheries
Amendment Bill designed to do that.
The Precautionary Principle means that where the Minister of
Fisheries has reason to believe that there are threats of serious
or irreversible damage to a fish population, as has been the case
for many years now with both hoki and orange roughy, the lack of
full scientific certainty cannot not be used as a reason for
postponing cost-effective measures to ensure sustainability and
prevent environmental degradation.
Greenpeace welcomed the Minister's announced catch reductions
for South Island red cod and flat fish fisheries and the North
Island eel fishery. They are long overdue.
Exp. contact date: 2007-09-25 00:00:00