Larger fisheries office better placed to tackle illegal fishing
14 August 2007
New accommodation in Petone will ensure that Wellington fishery officers and investigation staff are better resourced to tackle the threat of fish theft, Minister of Fisheries Jim Anderton said today.
“Fisheries offending is stealing from everyone else, and that's why this Labour-Progressive Government has made it a priority. The Wellington region is blessed with fisheries resources, but there are organised groups stealing it from legitimate fishers.
“This new Petone office, with its 30 fishery officers, investigators and support staff is well placed to disrupt this illegal activity and safeguard it for everyone else,” Jim Anderton said.
Speaking at the opening of the Ministry of Fisheries new Petone office, he said the national fisheries compliance budget has increased from $20 million in 2000 to $30 million in 2007 to meet the rise of organised fish theft.
“To get the best value from our fisheries, particularly paua and rock-lobster, they need to be protected. Industry players, customary and recreational fishers need to know we are enforcing the law in a strict and even-handed way.
“The Petone compliance team, their satellite office in New Plymouth and network of honorary fishery officers, who cover the area from Turakirae Head to Taranaki, are a key part of the Poaching is Theft campaign launched last year, and are well supported with information from the public.
“The team is an important part of getting the best value from fisheries. It’s a contribution central government can make to fishers, tangata whenua and environmental groups,” Jim Anderton said. “Everyone benefits, except offenders.
“I encourage all New Zealanders to report any suspicious activities to the Ministry of Fisheries on the 0800 4 POACHER number (0800 476 224) and support the excellent work of the Petone compliance team.”