Fishing Industry Under-reporting Dolphin Deaths

Opinion by Rebekah White, “The Weekender”

Turns out that we’ve been making decisions based on bad data: the fishing industry has been underreporting deaths of ocean wildlife, and the numbers of dolphins and birds being killed are drastically higher than we thought.
Seven times as many dolphins are being drowned compared to the rate reported by the fishing industry. Three to four times as many albatrosses are taking bait, landing on ships, or being killed. And twice as much fish is being discarded from commercial vessels. We know this because cameras have finally been installed on a number of vessels (not all of them) and these figures are from one of the first reports about what they’ve recorded.
Fishers are required by law to report bycatch, but research overseas finds industry-reported numbers are consistently lower than when independent observers (or cameras) are keeping watch.
Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones’s response has been to pause the camera rollout and ask officials to look at ways to hand camera footage back to industry, rather than having the government independently reviewing it, according to Andrea Vance at The Post. Without good data, it’s impossible to figure out how much fish to take, or whether we’re wiping out albatrosses through attrition.

Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones Photo Radio NZ

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2 Responses to Fishing Industry Under-reporting Dolphin Deaths

  1. "Reccy Fisher" says:

    It’s not surprising Shane Jones should come to the rescue of the unprincipled commercial fishing corporates. Remember his ties to the co.rporate fishing industry with political donations

  2. James Squire says:

    I found this on “Scoop news”
    Friday, 16 February 2024, 12:20 pm
    Press Release: Greenpeace New Zealand
    Damning new polling data released today shows that the vast majority of New Zealanders (85%) do not trust Minister Shane Jones to look after New Zealand’s ocean and fisheries, the job he’s entrusted to do in his Ministerial position.
    The data collected by Horizon Research also shows that over half of respondents (57%) agree that Members of Parliament who accept donations from the fishing industry should not be the Minister for Oceans and Fisheries – a result that comes after a week where Jones wined and dined with fishing industry bosses who financed his election campaign.
    Greenpeace oceans campaigner, Ellie Hooper, says the data speaks for itself.
    “This polling shows the clear lack of trust that New Zealanders have in Shane Jones as the Minister of Oceans and Fisheries. They simply don’t believe that he’s going to look after the marine life New Zealanders hold dear, from deep sea coral to whales and seabirds,” she says.
    That says it all. Eighty five percent!

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