Permits for New Zealand high seas bottom trawlers operating in the South Pacific are due for renewal in April.
The New Zealand Government has previously issued permits to six bottom trawling vessels, all owned by companies with recent convictions for illegal fishing – and allowing them to trawl seamounts in international waters.
New Zealand vessels are the only ones that are still causing destruction of important deep-sea ecosystems across the South Pacific.
According to a recent survey, almost 80% of kiwis oppose any kind of bottom trawling, both inshore and offshore,
We know seamounts are in need of protection. Deep sea corals are slow growing and fragile, making them highly vulnerable to damage from bottom trawling. These seamounts perform a vital role in the functioning of the ocean, providing habitats for juvenile fish, and feeding areas for ocean giants such as humpback whales.
With less impactful fishing methods available, such as longlining and mid-water trawls, the Government has no reason to permit these vessels to continue bottom trawling.
We want to send a message directly to Fisheries New Zealand, calling on them not to issue any new High Seas Permits for the New Zealand bottom trawling fleet.
We have put together a simple form to allow you to send a message directly to the Director General of the Ministry of Primary Industries, Ray Smith, and David Parker, the Minister of Oceans and Fisheries, asking them NOT to renew these permits.