Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Pervasive criminality III

Another day, another leaked MPI report into criminal behaviour in the fishing industry. This time its systematic under-reporting in the Southern Blue Whiting fishery:

A leaked Government report has revealed under-reporting and massive waste in another high-value New Zealand fishery.

The MPI compliance report targeted 13 trawlers in the Southern Blue Whiting fishery, which brings in around $26 million a year for New Zealand.

It found almost 3000 tonnes went unreported due to poor practice when cutting fish.


Up to 2678 tonnes was misreported as a result - that's almost 10 percent of all fish landed by the vessels being monitored.

And 10% under-reporting means they're effectively catching 10% more fish than they should be, with flow-on effects for the sustainability of the fishery. But the culprits weren't prosecuted, and the quota wasn't reduced to take actual industry practice into account. Instead, the report ended up with all the other ones: filed and ignored. Because MPI is totally captured by the fishing industry, and not actually interested in regulating it properly.

Greenpeace is right: we need a full and independent review of MPI's oversight and the effects of its capture on sustainability. But more importantly, we need a government agency willing to enforce the law. It is clear that MPI's internal culture prevents any chance of that. So if we want fishers regulated properly, we will need a new agency, and it will need to start from scratch and never hire anyone tainted by MPI's institutional corruption.