MPI in denial about under-reporting of fishing catch

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is in denial if it thinks under-reporting of fishing catch isn’t important, the Green Party said today.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is in denial if it thinks under-reporting of fishing catch isn’t important, the Green Party said today.

 

“As a first step, MPI should release the findings from its recent review of the Fisheries Management System to back up its claims that the system is sound,” said Green Party primary industries spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

 

The comments come on the back of a report by academics from the Universities of Auckland, British Columbia, and Oxford that the amount of marine fish caught in New Zealand waters between 1950 and 2010 is 2.7 times higher than official statistics suggest. The report, which is based on official information, interviews with industry personnel, and literature, also shows that dumping of fish is rife. This happens because fish are unmarketable, under the minimum legal size or the fisher has no quota.

 

“MPI needs to provide the evidence that there is no over fishing, rather than just rubbish a comprehensive independent report it doesn’t agree with. It can’t pretend everything is alright when it clearly has little idea how many fish are being taken or dumped.

 

“We have catch limits and reporting to protect our fish stocks. It’s not okay for the fishing industry to over fish, dump what companies don’t want, and under-report their catch. This mentality, which the Ministry seems to be condoning by saying there are plenty more fish in the sea, shows there is something very broken in the way MPI manages fishing in this country.

 

“The Green Party would increase the number of observers on fishing boats, increase enforcement, put in place harsher penalties for dumping and under-reporting fish catches, and review the Quota Management System,” said Ms Sage.

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