Stick to free diving pal

I see another sports person has entered the political fray…and as is usual for these fools he gets things dreadfully wrong.

New Zealand freediver William Trubridge has backed a campaign urging fast food giant McDonald’s to stop sourcing its fish from New Zealand waters after the leak of a report which revealed the unreported capture of a rare dolphin.

The leaked report of a 2013 investigation by the Ministry for Primary Industries, titled Operation Achilles, followed the unreported capture of a Hector’s Dolphin, a close relative of the critically endangered Maui’s dolphin.

The report also revealed New Zealand fishing boats had illegally dumped large amounts of healthy fish – a finding which prompted the ministry to launch an inquiry last week.

McDonald’s sources 8 per cent of its fish for the Filet-O-Fish burger from New Zealand waters and German conservation foundation Nabu International is leading a campaign urging it to drop New Zealand fish from its menus.

Mr Trubridge, who earlier this month broke two world records by diving to 124m and back on a single breath, is supporting the campaign.

“What decent human being or company could possibly buy fish from an industry that fights for the right to kill every last Maui’s dolphin?

“I have faith that most who hear this story will refuse New Zealand fish until it is no longer mixed with the blood of the last few individuals of a beautiful species.

Yeah well, about the only thing that is obvious from this attack and mad rant is that cerebral hypoxia or oxygen deprivation amongst free divers has serious and long-term negative effects on the cognitive abilities of aficionados of the sport. One of the side effects seems to be dribbling while talking.

If he still had all his brain cells then he would know that Maui Dolphins are a coastal and inshore waters species. Further he would know that Hoki is caught in trawlers, using pelagic (medium depth, neither close to the bottom nor near the shore) and bottom trawling methods in offshore waters…in other words nowhere near where Maui dolphins live, eat and play.

This is just dishonest, emotive, slanted reporting and repeating from the NZ Herald. They are simply attacking the fishing industry and McDonalds on behalf of ratbag German and Kiwi activists.

Moreover the claims are just wrong. The Hoki fishery for example is a case study in sustainable fisheries.

In 2001, New Zealand hoki was the first large-scale whitefish fishery to achieve MSC certification. The fishery was subsequently re-certified in 2007 and 2012.

Hoki is managed as two stocks: the eastern stock and the western stock. Hoki is a fast growing fish, living for 20-25 years and can grow to over a metre in length. It is caught using both pelagic (mid-water) and bottom trawls.

Between 1995 and 2000, the western stock declined due to low recruitment – there were fewer new fish of the required size and age. New improvement action plans on stock rebuilding were therefore introduced.

During the fishery’s first five-year certification cycle, improvements were made on stock management and a formal stock rebuilding plan was introduced in 2006. Catch limits were reduced and the spawning stock has increased substantially. The western stock is considered to be fully rebuilt.

As of 2014 there are no improvements needed on stock status and the fishery has completed all its action plans. Since the first certification in 2001, the populations of both New Zealand hoki stocks have more than doubled.

Moreover the Hoki fishery hundred of kilometres south of Maui dolphin’s normal range. Maui dolphins are a West coast species largely found  north of Whanganui and South of the Kaipara harbour. Hoki is caught off the West Coast of the South Island, Cook Strait and the Chatham Rise to the east of the South Island. They are hundreds of mile apart at their closet possible range. The report from the Germans and the emotive clap-trap being pushed by idiots like Trubridge and the Media party don’t even match the facts.

But what also hasn’t been disclosed either is the involvement of Labour party president Nigel Haworth in the report that is being shopped and repeated without any input from other parties or even bare facts. Why hasn’t the media disclosed this link?

So why is this being pushed so hard, and without any basic fact checking by the Herald and other journalists?

It has all the hallmarks of a political hit job on an industry that employs thousands and pays million ins taxes.

People should go to William Trubridge’s Facebook account and ask him to retract his claims, they are just plain wrong.

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– NZ Herald, Department of Conservation,Marine Stewardship Council

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