Title: Will MPI cameras on the fleet prove the system isn’t commercially viable?
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 finfish 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.
CEO, Moana New Zealand