I really enjoyed this wonderfully candid interview with Pamela Mace (Even though its quite old (August 2010)) it is unquestionably still relevant. What I liked most about this interview is not only Pamela’s hold of the issues, but her ability to ‘Janet and John’ them.
The other thing, and probably the most notable aspect of this interview, is that the interviewer (who ever this person is) subscribes to the popularist view that the fishing industry are scoundrelly, unscrupulous and concerned only about the value of their catch, which is disappointing, as this is not the case at all. Furthermore the interviewers questions not only reflect this one sided view, but also shows a profound lack of research and basic knowledge of not only the Fisheries Management framework in New Zealand but also the issues that beset New Zealand fisheries, which surprises me given the interviewer obviously knew that she was interviewing the New Zealand Government Chief Fisheries Scientist.
Some of these atrocious questions put to Pamela include:
- “Do you feel that the fishing industry in New Zealand exercises to much lobbying power and too much recourse to the courts?”
- “But the dollars are the bottom line for them [the Seafood Industry] aren’t they?”
- “At times it is just cheaper and easier for them [the Seafood Industry] to carry on catching those [Seabirds and Marine Mammals] rather than take the expensive steps needed to stop doing so?
Pamela’s Seminar slideshow: ‘New Zealands Fisheries Management System
Pamela tactfully puts this misguided position right. But Pamela you could have said more.
The first question is ridiculous “too much recourse to the courts”? Access to justice is a fundamental New Zealand Right! Does this question imply that the Seafood Industry should have diminished human rights? A fisherman owns their fishing quota, just as a farmer owns their stock, and the interviewer owns her mobile phone… They have the right to have their property right enforced by the Courts subject to New Zealand law.
Question two? Yes dollars are the bottom line, as they are for anyone! Including the interviewer when she goes grocery shopping. losing gear or having nets that contain anything other than quota species is uneconomic. Fishermen want clean catches. When they are targeting hoki, they want to catch their quota of hoki. They don’t want other fish species, or corals, or rocks, or seabirds. They are uneconomic and have to be dealth with. Consequently fishermen do all they can to ensure a clean catch.
Question three? WRONG! see above. New Zealand quota owners are pro-active about minimising and mitigating the environmental effects of fishing. Not only is it consistent with the law, it is also economic and makes good business sense: As a result of the Seafood industry’s pro-activity and innovation have resulted in a number of world leading initiatives that have resulted in decreased interactions with marine mammals, seabirds, turtles and other interactive species.
- Sea Lion exclusion devices (SLEDS)
- Seabird mitigation devices
- On board operation procedures (OPs)
- Real time interaction monitoring
- Vessel crew education programmes
- Vessel [specific] Management Plans (VMPs)
- Benthic Protected Areas
also see http://www.victoria.ac.nz/chaplains/whatson/do-something-fish.html (resource of interviews on fishing)