March 22, 2016
Kermadecs blocked from future technology
Former Maori Fisheries Commission chair Sir Tipene O'Regan says the creation of a Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary has nothing to do with sustainability.
His successors on Te Ohu Kaimoana are taking the crown to court over the proposed sanctuary, which they say is in breach of the Maori fisheries settlement both in the way it confiscates quota without compensation and the way iwi Maori were shut out of the planning.
Sir Tipene says the small amount of fishing done around the Kermadecs doesn’t justify closing it off, as any benefit to Maori quota holders depends on future technological change.
"Until relatively recently we had a comparable situation with the Southern Ocean squid fishery in the Auckland Islands. We had a comparable situation with the Ross Sea fishery. We didn’t have a capacity to work it. We now have. That brings on us a duty to work it sustainably and carefully and not to damage the long term biomass," he says.
Sir Tipene O'Regan says Environment Minister Nick Smith's claim the Kermadecs can be closed off because Maori aren’t fishing there is like the Waste Lands Acts of the 1860s where Maori land was seized because it was not farmed.
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