April 29, 2016
Fishing industry challenges Kermadec plan
A challenge by Maori fisheries interests to the Government’s unilateral declaration of the Kermadecs Ocean Sanctuary has now been joined by the wider fishing industry.
The action has been filed in the High Court by the Fishing Industry Association along with Aotearoa Fisheries, Ngai Tahu Fisheries, Sealord, Solander, Sanford, Talley’s Group Ltd, Independent Fisheries Ltd, United, and Vela Fishing, representing around 80 percent of fishing quota.
Association president Steve Bishop says the companies fully support marine conservation, but any new measures must be taken with full considered consultation with all affected stakeholders.
He says the way the sanctuary is being created will undermine the integrity of New Zealand’s 30-year-old world-leading quota management system and the Maori Fisheries Settlement Act.
Mr Bishop says the companies believe the Government has was improperly advised, particularly on New Zealand’s international obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
He says there is a threat that if New Zealand voluntarily abandons its right to fish in the area, other states could argue they are entitled to do so under the law of the sea.
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