Iwi owned fishing company Moana New Zealand is outraged that a dead shark with its fin removed has washed up on Onepoto Beach in the Hicks Bay.
CEO Carl Carrington says “We do not condone this sort of behaviour and it’s utterly unacceptable. Although it is not illegal to remove the fin, that can only be done if it is landed with the trunk of the shark. Those are the rules.”
“But let’s also not assume it was a commercial fisherman because it’s highly unlikely that it was. The market for shark fin is minimal and with little commercial benefit. It’s hard to see why a commercial fisherman would undertake such a practice.”
Thanks to on-board vessel monitoring systems, Moana New Zealand could immediately find out if they had any vessels in the area at the time.
And while there was one Moana New Zealand vessel in the area at the time, it was carrying a Ministry for Primary Industries observer and also has cameras on board. A request to view the footage has already been lodged.
“This is exactly why Moana New Zealand supports bringing greater transparency to the fishing industry with GPS vessel monitoring systems and cameras on vessels” says Carrington.
Ministry for Primary Industries has proposed an Integrated Electronic Monitoring and Reporting System, or IEMRS, which combines reporting, vessel positioning systems and cameras.
Moana New Zealand is in full support of this initiative as a means of gathering better information for fisheries management, with well-considered specifications and an appropriate implementation plan.