February 17, 2013
TOKM fighting costly charter fishing changes
Te Ohu Kaimoana says media hysteria painting a false picture of Māori fishing activities could cost iwi up to $10 million a year.
Chief Executive Peter Douglas says that's the Māori fisheries trust's analysis of the impact of the Fisheries (Foreign Charter Vessels and Other Matters) Bill introduced last week.
He says as a result of media-driven hysteria about conditions on some foreign charter vessels used to catch high volume, low value deepwater species, the Government has gone beyond what a ministerial inquiry recommended.
Mr Douglas says the public was given false impression it was an iwi problem.
"It was unfortunate that a couple of journalists had perpetuated the story that we comprised the greater proportion of fish being caught by foreign charter vessels. The truth is, if all of our fish was being caught by those vessels, it could only make up about 17 percent. The story that's around is that it's much more, about 80 or 90 percent, but it's not," he says.
Māori quota holders want to be sure the foreign crews fishing their quota are fairly treated, but the changes proposed in the bill are draconian and breach natural justice.
Meanwhile, Ngāi Tahu leader Sir Mark Solomon has been elected to the board of Te Ohu Kaimoana.
He replaces another Ngāi Tahu Director, Rangimarie Parata Takurua, who has served the limit of two four-year terms
Ngāi Tahu is the largest iwi holder of quota and runs a successful company, Ngāi Tahu Seafoods, supplying domestic and international markets.
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