2M commercial snapper dumped a year – LegaSea
Wednesday 21 Aug 2013 5:20 p.m.
The country's biggest recreational fishing group has turned up the heat on the snapper debate, accusing commercial fishermen of dumping 2 million snapper each year.
They say it is not fair that cuts are being proposed to recreation catches when the commercial sector is wasting so much.
"We believe that at least 2 million fish per annum are being crushed and being shovelled over the side needlessly by use of the out-of-date, indiscriminate bottom trawl," says LegaSea's Scott Macindoe.
That number is just for snapper. Mr Macindoe is appalled the Government is proposing cuts to recreational catch limits, in the face of that much alleged waste.
"I think it's grossly unfair," he says.
"I think that's an incredible wastage amount that has got to be reduced before we take the conversation much further," says Labour's David Cunliffe.
The minister in charge, Nathan Guy, is also under attack by Labour for comments to 3 News yesterday about the consultation, which closes this Friday.
"I don't think it's too controversial," says Mr Guy.
But, Mr Macindoe says it's "ridiculously controversial".
And in Parliament, Mr Guy was accused of breaking the Cabinet manual. It states ministers must take all controversial matters to Cabinet first before they are made public, and that wasn't done.
"There is nothing controversial about ensuring the sustainability of our most valuable inshore fishery. I do acknowledge some aspects, in particular the option to reduce the bag limit to three, are controversial," says Mr Guy.
3 News contacted a number of people from the commercial fishing sector, but nobody would give a full interview. But many disputed 2 million snapper are being dumped each year, but say more is being done to reduce wastage.