Greenpeace has today launched a call for the incoming government to prioritise cameras on boats across the full commercial fishing fleet, and to complete implementation within its first term.
To launch the campaign, Greenpeace teamed up with recreational fisher and TV host Mandy Kupenga, to create a new short film (see below) about why cameras are vital to the health of New Zealand’s oceans.
Kupenga says delays to the cameras programme have gone well beyond what is reasonable.
“As the ocean guardians for New Zealanders the government must make ocean protection a priority by taking action and implementing camera monitoring by the end of 2023,” she says.
“New Zealand has been waiting for cameras for too long. If it takes over 14 years to act on one compliance change, how can we have faith that future improvements to our fisheries will happen in a timely manner.
“There are no more excuses. Cameras are necessary to prevent over-fishing of the oceans, to protect fish populations, reduce waste and safeguard biodiversity for the future.”
Greenpeace oceans campaigner Jessica Desmond agrees, adding it’s clear urgent action must be taken before it’s too late.
“We’ve seen the can kicked down the road continuously on this,” she says.
“The commercial fishing industry has repeatedly shown it can’t be left to self-monitor. That’s clear from repeated fish dumping scandals to the killing of endangered dolphins, seabirds and seals. We need cameras for accurate monitoring and accountability around the state of the seas.”
Desmond says it’s up to New Zealanders now to show this issue matters and to put pressure on the incoming government to make this programme a priority.
“We’re seeing report after report about the dire state of our marine environment. We know that cameras can help us regulate one of the greatest threats to the oceans, and the government has to stop buying for time.
“Any government that’s serious about ocean protection will prioritise cameras this term, and stop this political pass the parcel.”