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Getting to Grips with Fishing Offences in New Zealand

by 5m Editor
15 January 2009, at 12:00am

NEW ZEALAND - The New Zealand Seafood Industry Council has congratulated fisheries officers for their success in decreasing fishing offences in 2008.

The Ministry of Fisheries said millions of dollars worth of boats, vehicles and other fishing gear was seized by fisheries officers from greedy recreational thieves, organised fish thieves and commercial fishers breaking the law.

Owen Symmans, New Zealand Seafood Industry Council Chief Executive said it was great to see poachers being brought to justice, especially in cases of commercially valuable paua and rock lobster poaching.

"There are over 800,000 recreational fishers in New Zealand and if everyone takes a few more than allowed, or purposely steals these natural resources, we will all lose out. Our seafood resource is not only carefully managed for commercial benefit (seafood is New Zealand's fifth largest export earner) but also so future generations can enjoy catching and eating New Zealand seafood.

"We are delighted with the work the Ministry of Fisheries has done over the past year, especially by showing that anyone involved in illegal fishing will be caught and severely punished. The New Zealand Seafood Industry Council supports MFish's summer campaign Size Does Matter'."

Paua poachers rob New Zealanders of up to 400 tonnes of the valuable meat each year. In 2006 the New Zealand Seafood Industry Council in partnership with the Ministry of Fisheries ran the Poaching is Theft' campaign with great results.

"It is very important that we all understand the consequences of taking more than our share," said Mr Symmans.

"The commercial fishing industry operates under the Quota Management System and by the philosophy that fishermen fish to fish another day'. Non-compliance within our industry is not tolerated," he said.

5m Editor