Friday, September 04, 2020

More bullshit half-measures

After dragging its feet for three years, the government has finally announced a plan to put cameras on fishing boats. Unfortunately, its a little underwhelming:

Minister of Fisheries Stuart Nash has announced a large cash investment from the Government to roll out cameras on commercial fishing vessels.

Nash made the announcement on TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning, saying between $40 million and $60 million will used to pay for the cameras. The funding will be rolled out by the end of 2021.


Nash said by the end of 2024 there will be 345 cameras installed - about 84 per cent of the inshore fleet.

According to Greenpeace, there are ~1500 registered fishing boats. So we're actually looking at cameras on 20% of the fleet, a mere 11 years after trials began. And when you consider the pervasive criminality of the fishing industry - how widespread high-grading, under-reporting, and dumping is, it just looks like more bullshit half measures, a PR solution designed to look like the government is doing something, rather than real action. But then, that's what you get from Labour on everything.

What would real regulation look like? Cameras and observers on every boat to stop fishers from cheating. Cuts to quota to ensure fisheries are truly sustainable. And actual prosecutions, with jail time and boat seizures and post-conviction profit forfeiture, to drive those who will not obey the law out of the industry permanently. Because "business as usual" for fishers is actually a serious crime, and the government should treat it as such.