MPI investigation is not enough
Recreational fishers are concerned that the proposed investigation into the dumping, wastage and cover-ups by the Ministry for Primary Industries does not go far enough. Only a full review into the Quota Management System will be sufficient to allay widespread public concern that the Ministry has been captured by commercial interests says LegaSea Spokesman Richard Baker.
“MPI has announced an “independent review” into its handling of the illegal discarding of fish. The review only covers two internal Ministry investigations, Operations Achilles and Hippocamp.”
The recent University of Auckland “Reconstruction of marine fisheries catches for New Zealand (1950-2010)” reports extensive problems in monitoring commercial catch and fishers behaviour, and called into question the effectiveness of the Quota Management System.
“MPI cannot be trusted to define the boundaries of its own investigation,” says Baker.
“Any review, the terms of reference and the independent investigator, should be decided upon by the Minister in charge and not MPI itself. To have the Director General for the organisation that is at fault holding the reins of the investigation is not appropriate and smacks of a further attempt to cover up ongoing and systemic irregularities.”
LegaSea calls on the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy to step up and take charge of this issue on behalf of all New Zealanders.
“The Minister has been almost entirely absent from this debate, leaving it up to officials to defend the indefensible. MPI has acted as nothing more than a spokesperson for the industry and it’s high time we heard from the man who is actually responsible for overseeing this industry.”