Fishing companies unhappy with regulations
New legislation would fend off law suits from fishing companies unhappy with reduced catch limits is under criticism.
It is said that the fast-tracked legislation to fend off law suits from fishing companies unhappy with reduced catch limits is being criticised for giving the fisheries minister too much power. The sources revealed that the non-commercial fishing lobby, made up of representatives of big game fishing, customary fishing and recreational fishing, have criticised the Fisheries Act Amendment Bill for being a "collusion" with commercial fishing, too hasty and undermining sustainable fishing.Now Fisheries Minister Jin Andertonâ€™s decision on setting catch limits for commercial fishing is facing legal challenges. It is said that the decisions have focused on the lack of information on fish stocks. A law change to make catch-limit decisions on limited information legally robust has been slammed by those who might have been expected to support it. Customary fisheries advocate Paul Haddon, from the Hokianga Accord, told tha press that Anderton was convinced the amendment bill was a good thing, but the changes would do more harm than good and were simply a "quick fix". It is said that the amendment encouraged the minister to push for "maximum sustainable yield" and over-rode any consideration for employing conservative measures. Anderton explained that certain fish stocks are in trouble but because there isn't enough scientific evidence available, he can't lower the quota. Getting it would be hard and prohibitively expensive in some cases. In the case of orange roughy, it might not be possible to get the required information until the species was gone. According to the minister the new law would give him more power to set the catch limits with any level of information. Haddon said it put emphasis on maximising the commercial fishing take, not looking after the fish stock. Haddon also told that without the right information he must go for maximum sustainable yield and that is totally biased to the commercial side. He told that the urgency was required to enable potential catch-limit cuts for the fishing season starting on October 1, which looked to be necessary for bluenose fisheries.
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