In May Dr Glenn Simmons released a shocking report highlighting New Zealand authorities had, for 60 years, knowlingly under reported total fish catch to the United Nations.
The report also exposed the excessive and deliberate waste of our fish by commercial fishers.
It was accompanied by leaked Ministry for Primary Industries’ reports revealing that MPI not only knew of the illegal dumping, but had video footage of the offences. Copies of emails showed that senior MPI officals decided against prosecuting the offenders despite that irrefutable evidence.
After days of denials and plenty of heat, MPI commissioned a review by QC Michael Heron into the decisions not to prosecute. In September, Heron released his report into three MPI investigations. For Operation Achilles he found the decision not to prosecute was “flawed”.
Even more interesting are the emails from MPI’s Director of Fisheries where he comments fish dumping is a “systemic failure of the current system… Fisheries Management can’t quantify the tonnages involved but we suspect they are significant to the point that they are impacting on stocks.” Also, that if they stopped fish dumping “we would probably put half of the inshore fleet out of business overnight”.
Is a system that can be described like this, by the people who manage it, fit to serve the public of New Zealand?
Far from being ‘world leading’, LegaSea says it is time for us to take a close look at the Quota Management System and how our fisheries are being managed.
Please take 3 seconds to vote in the poll: Do you support LegaSea’s call for a Commission of Inquiry?
Taranaki Seabed Mining
In 2014 the Environmental Protection Authority rejected an application from Trans Tasman Resources to mine iron sand off the South Taranaki Bight. Overwhelming public opposition to seabed mining and environmental concerns were the big issues.
TTR are back. They have resubmitted, proposing the excavation of 50 million tonnes of iron sand from the seabed each year. There is little information as to what effect this may have on the fish stocks in an area or on future productivity of the seabed.
LegaSea is working alongside Kiwis Against Seabed Mining to protect this area for future generations. Head to kasm.org.nz and use their easy submission form by 5pm this Friday 14 October. Please, let the EPA know what you think, now.