Mike Rendle knows a thing or two about fishing, he makes his living from fishing, writing books and making documentaries.
Last week he was at sea when the hit job on New Zealand’s fishing industry was launched. He’s now ashore and has written this on his Facebook page. I have permission to re-publish it.
This is an important piece to write because last week I found myself right in the centre of all the negative press the commercial fishing industry has been receiving, the leaked reports and attack on their credibility.
The reason I am prepared to write is because I sat with some of the biggest players in the industry and heard their side of things. And what I can tell you is, that when you hear both sides, it’s clear the coverage isn’t balanced and in many cases is incredibly unfair.
In fact, if you look at where the leaked reports and other information is emanating from you would logically draw the conclusion that this is a hit on the government by the Labour and Green parties, aided and abetted by an activist named Barbara Maas. (More on her later). You will also notice that the name Nigel Haworth is associated with many of the press reports. He is the Labour Party president. Personally I believe that this is a hit, however let’s call that unimportant at this stage; this is firstly, and most importantly, about the resource.
You all know I am an incredibly passionate recreational fisherman. I like to think that I have a balanced view to both conservation and harvest. My opinions aren’t always the same as those around me but they are always aimed at preserving and promoting the sport of fishing. And you know I have a history of calling a spade a spade.
I learnt two things last week; first, the biggest, most powerful players in the commercial fishing industry care about the resource, possibly even more than we do, and not just for financial reasons. Second, the industry is creating more jobs, more NZ investment and providing a growing contribution to the NZ tax take. A large part of that investment is in improving harvest methods, mitigation of bycatch, particularly mammals and birds, while making the job safer and more efficient.
Let me begin with some positives because the NZ commercial fishing industry should be celebrated as a success story, not pilloried for past excess and greed from times when we all knew no better. Read more »