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Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping

The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Rino Tirikatene.

“The fisheries sector and the Ministry are in crisis. We know MPI is sitting on footage revealing fish dumping on a massive scale, yet the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy is just sitting on his hands.  

“Fisheries officers come down hard on recreational fishers who are one or two fish over the catch limit, but MPI is turning a blind eye when commercial boats dump hundreds -- maybe even thousands -- of fish overboard.

“There’s one standard for the little guy and another standard for the big boats.

“Photos and video footage show fishermen throwing valuable species overboard, including Kingfish, but the Ministry refused to press charges after legal advice.

“The Ministry for Primary Industries should have sought a second opinion before deciding whether to prosecute for illegal dumping. It goes to show that they don’t rate illegal dumping as a high priority.

“Labour is calling on the Minister to order an urgent independent inquiry,” says Rino  Tirikatene.