Duncan Garner slams Stuart Nash over lack of cameras on fishing boats

Duncan Garner has slammed Minister of Fisheries Stuart Nash over the current lack of cameras on commercial fishing boats.

Conservation groups are calling for cameras on boats, claiming endangered animals are being caught with fish.

On Monday, Fisheries New Zealand said it had received two reports from commercial fishers about rare Hector's dolphins caught off the South Island's East Coast this summer.

One report related to a single dolphin being caught in trawling nets, while three were captured on another occasion.

Forest and Bird chief executive Kevin Hague told The AM Show that's not good enough and there needs to be action now.

"Those cameras on boats are still nowhere in sight and if we don't measure something we can't manage it.

"Literally hundreds of marine mammals, including these critically endangered ones we talked about earlier on, thousands of birds... will be extinct within 20 years if we don't take action."

Garner said Mr Nash is a disappointment for the lack of movement on the cameras, which were proposed by the previous National Party Government.

Plans to have the cameras installed on all boats were delayed by the Government in late 2018.

"I am committed to considering on-board cameras once policy questions are addressed. Previous regulations were unrealistic and were developed without adequate engagement," Mr Nash told Stuff at the time.

Currently there is only a trial on boats in the Hauraki Gulf, and despite the cameras catching plenty of illegal activity, there were no prosecutions from the footage as of December 2018.

Mr Hague said he thought Mr Nash is a "good bloke" that got caught between two warring parties.

"I think that he's had a model of the right path as somewhere in between the industry and what the conservationists are saying.

"The reality is, the industry itself is trying to exploit the minister and use him for their own purposes, he has to resist it.

"We need that monitoring right now, because otherwise species like the antipodean albatross, the New Zealand sea lions... will be lost forever."

Newshub.

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