LegaSea Slams Fisheries NZ climate Blame Game over Snapper

Special report

LegaSea is “stunned” that Fisheries NZ is blaming the climate for snapper having “milky white flesh syndrome.”
“Fisheries NZ said the climate blame by-passed last year’s laboratory results that showed snapper were in a “state of chronic malnutrition”.
“The lab testing found that the tissue breakdown in snapper was attributed to a prolonged period of starvation,” said LegaSea.
Legasea said the answer seemed far more likely to be due to a noticeable absence of baitfish.
“Reports from Northland to East Cape confirm fears that there are fewer jack mackerel. Areas once relied on for holding baitfish, are now barren. Baitfish are an integral part of the food chain sustaining fish, birds and marine mammals. Successive “State of our Gulf” (Hauraki) reports show baitfish, including jack and blue mackerel are the most commonly harvested species.”
“It is ludicrous to think purse seining be carried on day after day and expect the environment to keep producing the same amount of fish. It’s well documented that scallop dredging, Danish seining and bottom trawling destroy seabed life.
After decades of dredging, scallop beds are now closed, crayfish in the Hauraki Gulf are described as “functionally extinct” and after a century of bottom trawling, there are no wild mussels left in the marine park.
“We cannot ignore that these outcomes are due to fishing and other human related pressures.”
LegaSea is now concerned that a hardy species like snapper is now succumbing to a collapsing food chain and that officials are dismissing the lack of bait fish in the water, while ignoring the impacts of a century of destructive fishing methods.
“We would have expected a more constructive response from Fisheries NZ to this chronic issue,” said LegaSea.
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11 Responses to LegaSea Slams Fisheries NZ climate Blame Game over Snapper

  1. "Sea-farer" says:

    I saw the woeful TV interview where the ministry blamed climate change. What a convenient alibi. The Minister of Fisheries should be hauling the ministry officials into his office for a stern talking to.

  2. Jack Tuhawaiki says:

    Does the Ministry of Fisheries understand how the food chain functions?
    The food chain describes which species eats its prey in the wild.
    For example, single-celled organisms called phytoplankton provide food for tiny shrimp called krill. Krill provide the main food source for the blue whale, an animal on the third trophic level.
    It’s about predator prey relationships.
    Does the ministry know this? Does the minister of fisheries (Shane Jones) understand this?
    Or is it to hell with consequences and proper management and all about corporate fishing company profits i.e. greed? The corporates will donate to political parties to get politicians and government to turn a blind eye to the damaging exploitation.
    Sustainability is just a word easily tossed over the shoulder..

  3. Hawk Tuah says:

    New Zealand such a clean, green land with such a conservation minded population some of whom who obviously think it is OK to rape the seas because no one will notice.

  4. Jim Hilton Batchelor Science Hons Biology 1971 says:

    I’ve read a recent report that 1000 seals on the Kaikoura coast have died of starvation this year. There is plenty of science which details the over exploitation of fisheries.
    e.g. “Cod – A Biography of a Fish that changed the world” by Mark Kurlansky, published 1992 294 pages. Why does New Zealand have to repeat the same mistakes of Northern hemisphere countries?

  5. Pete says:

    Marlborough sounds has seen massive changes in my time in and on the water there.
    None have been due to climate.
    I commercially fished and dived so was at the coal face in the 90s and early 2000s.
    Over take on paua had the industry calling foul and blaming pirates on massive decline in take able catch. Now we are at very reduced allowances
    Ploughing of the scallop beds seen the fishery collapse. Now we are at zero allowance and have been for a decade.
    Purse seining of kahawai. Now we are at a hard to catch species when once the coastline thrived with shoals
    Over take on large breeding snapper by trawlers seen the last snapper charter boat leave the industry many years ago when they could no longer catch even one for recreational clients and now we are at small take allowance recreationally but only a small reduction by commercial.
    Blue cod was over caught by rec fishers and commercial alike. That species collapsed alongside pathetic strategies by govt to rebuild stock that didn’t help and still near 20 years later we are still at very limited take allowance recreationally yet commercial is not restricted
    My point is, gone is the falsely claimed jewel in the crown abundant marine life Marlborough sounds. All declines can be attributed to mankind. The idea we blame the climate is a slap in the face for all those that have worked to try install logical not money based solutions. It’s a sad day for NZ fishing for sure when we stoop so low as to blame climate on all the destruction we leave behind

  6. Jack Tuhawaiki says:

    Is the state of the fishery due to the ministry bowing to commercial corporates who donate to politicians (e.g. Shane Jones) to get special favours from government, i.e., the minister and ministry? Oh migosh, who is the Minister of Oceans and Fisheries but none other than Shane Jones.
    Concerning Pete’s comment and reference to the blue cod fishery in the Marlborough Sounds, the ministry implemented a bizarre slot rule (only take 30-35cm cod). It resulted in thousands and thousands of breeding females being killed. i.e,. “the goose that lays the golden egg” as the saying goes.
    The ministry ignored the knowledge and warnings from recreational fishers. From their warm offices and well paid salaries, the ministry bureaucrats knew better!
    So Pete’s blame on mankind should be largely placed on the heads of inept ministers (Anderton, Guy, Carter, Nash etc) and incompetent, scheming ministry bureaucrats.

  7. Lew says:

    Why is it that everything that goes wrong is blamed on climate change or COVID? Why not look at the obvious reasons for some of these easy to solve issues.

  8. Bob Bond says:

    Can’t believe blindingly obvious scientific evidence of starvation being the cause of milky flesh fish, seabird and seal deaths totally ignored by FNZ & the Minister and planning to extract even more fish and continue habitat destruction and serial depletion of our fisheries. A race to the bottom.

  9. Justice Will B. Dunn. says:

    The Ministry, by taking the easy route and blaming Climate Change, have painted themselves into a corner – if as they state the Snapper are starving because of climate change the only conclusion they can come to and indeed the only tool they have in their legal tool box is to slash quota, to do it now for every specie and hold said quota at very low levels until climate change is stopped. There isn’t any other option available to them, it’s checkmate. Strange that we haven’t heard anything from Minister Jones, why would that be?

  10. Postman Pat says:

    Can’t keep blaming everything on climate change. MPI need to do some real science if they want real answers

  11. Stewart Hydes says:

    Unbelievable nonsense on the part of the Ministry .. the very people vested with responsibility for management of our fish populations.

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