Will MPI cameras on the fleet prove the system isn’t commercially viable? – Ctd

A few days ago, Whaleoil highlighted the problem:  that current fisheries practices, once observed by MPI camera, could spell the end of parts of the industry under the current regulation.

The CEO of Moana Fisheries responded to that article.

I read this article with interest and agree that government and fishers need to engage constructively to find practical solutions that will provide the public with confidence of a sustainable fishery and fishers with a workable framework within which to operate.

Moana New Zealand is the largest Iwi-owned fishing company in the country, and as such we have an even greater investment in the sustainability of the industry as kaitiaki, or guardians, of the sea for future generations.

The overwhelming view –based on international research and best practice –is that New Zealand’s Quota Management System (QMS) is one of the best sustainability tools in the world, and that is absolutely true.

While we can’t speak for South Island fisheries, because it’s not an area that we operate in, we agree that there is always room for improvement and when quota settings are not quite right, it creates a difficult working environment for fishers to adhere to the letter of the law.

However, the law is the law and until such time as the law is changed, then illegal discarding remains illegal. Just as speed limits on some roads ought to be adjusted, the law still applies and if you exceed the speed limit then there are consequences until the law changes to reflect common sense and practical reality. If observers of cameras pick up illegal activity, then we expect the Ministry for Primary Industries as the regulator and enforcement agency to take appropriate action.

Moana New Zealand is keen to be part of ongoing discussions on this with MPI to find workable solutions.

Carl Carrington
CEO, Moana New Zealand

Interesting media release.  The way I read it, it says that Moana does not want to be tarred with the same brush as cheaters of the Quota system, but at the same time there does also seem to be tacit admission that there are rules that are difficult to work with.

MPI installing cameras on vessels will be step one in finding out what really happens.  If any of them are true cowboys, they will have to change their ways.

As for those that have a genuine interest in running a sustainable fisheries industry, they should indeed welcome the cameras.  But in exchange, the government needs to enter a phase of information gathering and adjustment, instead of enforcement and punishment.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.