Greenpeace is calling on the New Zealand Government to stop supporting disreputable fishing companies after it tried to get a Talley’s fishing boat taken off a global blacklist of illegal fishing vessels during an international fisheries meeting in the Hague.
Talley’s fishing vessel, Amaltal Apollo, was caught doing 14 bottom trawls for orange roughy in a protected area of the Tasman Sea, and will now be placed on a draft global blacklist of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing vessels by the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO). Talley’s faces 14 charges that will be heard in court in Nelson next month.
Greenpeace New Zealand Executive Director, Dr Russel Norman, says evidence shows the Talley’s vessel conducted a series of bottom trawls in a well established protected area of the high seas.
“The New Zealand Government was pushing hard to get the Talley’s vessel off the international IUU blacklist of disreputable fishing vessels, in spite of SPRFMO Compliance and Technical Committee finding that the Talley’s vessel was involved in IUU activities,” he says.
“Other countries at the meeting objected, and the result is that the Talleys boat will remain on the draft IUU list.
“Incidentally, Talley’s is the same company that donated heavily to the campaign of Shane Jones, who has emerged as the defacto Minister of Fisheries in the current Government.”
“Rather than trying to protect Talley’s from an international IUU listing, the Government should welcome the listing as a warning to other fishing companies that they must follow rules to protect the environment.
Norman says at the same SPRFMO meeting, the New Zealand Government also pushed for weaker rules around protecting corals reefs from fishing nets, and argued that a fishing boat should be able to pull up a quarter of a tonne of coral in its nets before the boat is made to stop fishing where it destroyed the coral and move on.
“This will cause incalculable losses of ocean corals and biodiversity as the fishing industry destroys these magnificent high seas coral reefs,” he says.
“It is time for the Government to stop protecting environmental destruction by fishing companies and stand up for our oceans.”