Minister confirms Greenpeace allegations of fishing industry policing itself

Press release - May 30, 2016
Auckland, 30 May 2016 - Minister for MPI, Nathan Guy, has confirmed this morning that the fishing industry is indeed responsible for reviewing video surveillance from its own trawlers and reporting suspicious behaviour to the regulator, MPI.

Guy told Radio New Zealand that Trident - the industry owned partnership - analysed footage from the trawlers and then decided what it should to report to the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

"Trident does the summary, they alert MPI if there's anything they see that's suspicious,” Guy said.

“This confirms our worst fears,” says Russel Norman, Executive Director of Greenpeace New Zealand. “MPI have contracted out monitoring and analysis to the industry, and Nathan Guy and Prime Minister John Key are defending it.”

Yesterday Greenpeace blew the whistle on MPI awarding a contract to Trident, a firm wholly owned and controlled by the fishing industry, to electronically monitor the SNA1 with video and GPS technology.

MPI’s Minister, Guy, tried to defend the move this morning, saying, “MPI gets a summary of that footage, it can't be tampered with, it's securely stored..."

But Greenpeace’s Norman says the key word in Guy’s statement this morning is “summary”.

“The  fishing industry owned and controlled organisation decides what footage they should red flag to MPI,” he says.

“Let’s be clear about that: MPI contracts Trident to view and summarise the footage. Trident decides what to put in its report to MPI. MPI have contracted policing our fisheries to the very industrial fishing companies that most need policing, and both Nathan Guy and Prime Minister John Key seem to think this is okay.

“Anyone who cares about sustainable fisheries or just being to catch a fish for the family dinner, will not think this is okay at all.”