Monday, May 30, 2016

A gross conflict of interest

Stung by revelations that it was systematically refusing to prosecute fishers, MPI has awarded a contract to monitor the fishing industry to... the fishing industry:

The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) has awarded a contract for electronic monitoring on fishing boats to Trident Systems.

The firm's general partner is a company that is 42 per cent owned by a subsidiary of Sanford. The remaining shareholders are other fishing and seafood companies.

"The Government has awarded the contract to monitor fishing companies to an entity owned and controlled by the very same fishing companies," Greenpeace executive director Russel Norman said.

"We've got a serious problem with badly behaved fishing companies, and what do MPI do? They award the contract to monitor fishing boats to an entity owned and controlled by the fishing companies themselves."

Its a perverse kind of self-regulation, then, where we pay criminal fishers to keep an eye on themselves. Which in practice means that they'll keep on illegally dumping fish and lying about how much they caught, while taking our money to tell us everything is OK. Only a totally captured regulatory body like MPI could think that this was a good idea. To the rest of us, the conflict of interest is so apparent that any body owned by fishing companies should have been ruled out from the outset.