Thursday, Jan 31: Greenpeace is raising the alarm after the Government has again delayed the rollout of cameras on fishing boats, this time until August. The decision was quietly notified in the Government Gazette yesterday.
Greenpeace Executive Director, Dr Russel Norman, says cameras are urgently needed on all fishing boats to protect the marine environment from harmful fishing practices.
“There was a disturbing level of malpractice exposed by the original trials of the cameras back in 2012,” he says.
“Leaked MPI reports on the original camera trials showed fishing companies unlawfully dumping half of the fish they caught, and endangered Hector’s dolphins being drowned in nets and unlawfully not reported.”
Greenpeace leaked the reports on this trial, which forced the previous Government to promise to roll out independent cameras on all fishing boats.
However, Norman says in spite of the evidence, the new Government is dragging the chain on getting the cameras installed.
“Something is going wrong with fishing policy with this Government. The question needs to be asked about who is controlling it – is it the Labour Minister of Fishing, Stuart Nash, or is it New Zealand First’s Shane Jones, whose election campaign received large donations from Talley’s and who has opposed cameras on boats in the past,” he says.
“If Shane Jones is now the de facto Minister of Fishing and has a policy agenda to help fishing companies destroy the environment, then the Government should just come clean about it rather than quietly delaying any action to protect our oceans.”