Fryday FryUp – 30 September

September 30, 2016

Independent inquiry, conspiracy of silence, LegaSea poll, a baby blue whale feeding and seabed mining.

MPI – time to cut the chain?
John Key and Minister Nathan Guy must be starting to wonder when is the best time to cut their losses and jettison fisheries matters into a new ministry, as far from the Primary Industries mothership as possible.

Because just when things are starting to look a little sunny in dairy prices, a big greenie full of more bad fisheries news rolls over the deck and sweeps everything in its path.

Meanwhile, MPI remain silent and no meaningful changes have been announced.

Here at FryUp HQ the team has been busy keeping an eye on all things fish.

Will this end in tears?
The fallout continues over the lack of any Ministry prosecutions against commercial fishers caught dumping quota fish. Now, even the New Zealand Listener has published a stinging attack on the Quota Management System and fisheries management.

The Ed pulls no punches in saying, “a system supposedly devised to ensure the sustainability of our fisheries may be having the opposite effect”.

And goes on to say, “What’s equally scandalous is that the conspiracy of silence around dumping would probably have continued had the practice not been exposed by a University of Auckland study that concluded that the total fisheries catch since 1986 was far higher than officially reported. That was followed by the leaking of internal reports that confirmed the ministry had clear evidence of fish dumping but had decided not to prosecute”.

Cartoon courtesy of John Carr and NZ Farmer.

This “conspiracy of silence” is a concern for all of us, as once again it portrays a ministry in partnership with an industry exploiting a public resource, instead of working for the public. The more sunlight that is being shone onto this murky affair, the more dirt we see. Shudder to think what will be revealed next week.

LegaSea is maintaining the call for a comprehensive, independent review of the Quota Management System and how our fisheries are managed. Only a Commission of Inquiry can delve deep enough into the trough to reach the truth. Please add your voice to this call by voting in the poll.

Poll: Do you support LegaSea’s call for a Commission of Inquiry?
NZ Listener – Editorial: Illegal fish dumping has taken place on a scandalous scale
Newshub – John Key back MPI Minister despite fish dumping inaction

LegaSea Poll
Our cheeky poll to find out if you support a full Commission of Inquiry into this fisheries management is still going.
If you haven’t already voted, please do so. It takes about 3 seconds to complete. The link is above and below.
And if you want to do more please join our mailing list and join the tens of thousands of fishers who are starting to ask questions about why our fisheries are so poorly managed, and what are we going to do about it?

LegaSea is fully funded by donations and contributions from fishers just like yourself. Please consider a donation to help us fight on your behalf. We’re only as strong as the support we get from people like you.

A big thanks if you have donated, you’re a legend!

LegaSea – Take the poll
LegaSea – Join the Team
LegaSea – Donate
LegaSea – Show you care. Wear the gear or grab a gift with the help of LegaSea

A nursing baby blue whale
On a lighter note, nature is putting on a real show down the southwest coast of the North Island. A researcher was out researching (funny that) and managed to capture unique footage of a baby blue whale suckling from its mother. A truly magnificent sight.

Leigh Torres believes there are five mums and baby pairs off the South Taranaki Bight and highlights the need to protect the area from adverse human impacts.

The Australians are coming!
We’re not anti-Australian at FryUp HQ (maybe when they beat us at cricket) but we are disappointed to learn the Australian company Trans-Tasman Resources is back to have another go at a mining permit.

Our fisheries-marine protection team submitted against the application, in December 2013 and January 2014. The TTR application was rejected.

TTR is seeking permission to extract iron sand out of an area off Patea, in the South Taranaki Bight where the magnificent pygmy blue whales like to hang out.

KASM, Kiwis Against Seabed Mining, have been advocating protection of the west coast for many years.

KASM is concerned Trans-Tasman Resources has been playing down the potential impacts of their planned operation.

The team has just finished a series of public meetings that started in Piha two weeks ago and finished last night in Whanganui. Now they are off to the Environment Court to challenge the Environmental Protection Authority’s ability to hide some details of the TTR application. That info has been withheld on the grounds of commercial sensitivity.

I wonder if that’s the same sensitivity that whales have when confronted with plumes of sediment kicked up by sand miners?

Ex-All Black Josh Kronfeld is right on this issue, KASM is also working in unison with local Maori. KASM’s chair Phil McCabe, sums up the issue nicely,

“This is a publicly owned resource, it’s in public space, this is a public process and there’s no room for secrecy here. They’ve got to front up with the information and let people make a fair assessment.”

Couldn’t agree more Phil.

Please, even if you’re not a westie, get in behind this dedicated team and make a submission. It’s easy.

Radio NZ – Release full seabed mining application, opponents demand
Stuff – Anti-mining activists taking government agency to court over confidential documents
Facebook – Kiws Against Seabed Mining. Collective awareness
Submission form –  KASM South Taranaki Bight submission form