'Bad apples' behind fish-dumping - Key

The fishing industry is under heavy scrutiny (Reuters)
The fishing industry is under heavy scrutiny (Reuters)

Prime Minister John Key says he's not concerned a company given the contract to install cameras on fishing boats is owned by the companies it's meant to be watching.

Greenpeace NZ revealed at the weekend Trident Systems is part-owned by Sanford and a number of other seafood and fishing companies.

The fishing industry is under heavy scrutiny after leaked documents revealed "fishing companies were not reporting all of the fish they caught, misreporting fish weight, discarding huge amounts of dead fish, and not reporting dolphin deaths", says Greenpeace executive director Russel Norman.

"This is like the fox guarding the henhouse."

Mr Key says it doesn't matter who owns the cameras.

"[What matters] is the data, and the data is provided unbroken to MPI. They can't alter it," he told Paul Henry on Monday.

But Dr Norman says this isn't entirely correct -- Trident only sends a summary of the footage to MPI, and it's up to Trident to tell MPI if it spots anything suspicious.

Mr Key says Trident won the contract because it has the "best technology".

"What you want is the best technology, you're not that worried about who the owner of the company is."

Trident says its partnership with fishing companies has never been a secret, and Greenpeace should be supporting moves to clean up the industry.

Mr Key says the problems noted in the leaked reports are the result of "bad apples in the barrel", and not systemic.

"Their long-term interest is in the quota and the quota being successful."


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