DOC allows commercial fishing of endangered eels

Published: Wed 27 Jan 2010 12:30 PM
27 January, 2010
DOC allows commercial fishing of endangered eels
The Department of Conservation (DOC) is allowing commercial fishers to harvest endangered eels from rivers on conservation land, the Green Party said today.
The Green Party has discovered that late last year DOC issued three concessions for commercial eel fishers to take eels from rivers located in the West Coast Tai Poutini Conservancy, Green Party Conservation Spokesperson Kevin Hague said.
“DOC would never dream of allowing commercial hunters to kill great spotted kiwi or little blue penguins. Our native eels are just as threatened, so why is DOC treating them differently?” Mr Hague asked.
Three species of eel are affected: the native longfin and shortfin eel, and the Australian longfin eel.
The native longfin eel is found nowhere else in the world and is listed by DOC as a threatened species in gradual decline, the same level of threat as the great spotted kiwi, little blue penguin, rifleman, and banded dotterel.
While the native shortfin eel is not endangered there are concerns that females of the species have been overfished relative to males, leaving an imbalance that could affect future numbers.
“Allowing commercial fishing of these eels on the conservation estate is an appalling decision by the government department charged with protecting our most threatened species,” Mr Hague said.
“It really begs the question of why DOC has done this. I would not be surprised if there is a revenue stream for DOC in granting these permits. Is the department so starved of funding that it is turning to desperate measures?
“It also shows that government departments aren’t talking to each other. DOC is trying to hide behind the fact that the eel fishery is administered by the Ministry of Fisheries, but only DOC has control over fishing permits on conservation land.
“Just yesterday John Key removed Tim Groser as Conservation Minister, saying he needed more time to focus on his Trade and Climate Change Negotiation portfolios.
“In fact he has done a disservice to the Conservation portfolio in presiding over decisions like this.
“One can only hope that the new Minister Kate Wilkinson will do a better job,” Mr Hague said.
Answers to written questions to the Minister of Conservation showing that eel fishing permits have been issued on DOC land:
DOC’s classification of threatened species:

Next in New Zealand politics

Statement From Police Commissioner Mike Bush Following Guilty Pleas In Operation Deans Prosecution
By: New Zealand Police
Nation Steps Up To COVID-19 Alert Level 2
By: New Zealand Government
Cabinet Approves Business Continuity Package In Response To COVID-19
By: New Zealand Government
Record transport investment in Draft GPS 2021
By: New Zealand Government
On The Loss Of Abortion Safe Zones
By: Gordon Campbell
On The Oil Price Smackdown, And On National’s Fatuous Crusade Against Red Tape
By: Gordon Campbell
Predator Free 2050 Strategy - Expert Reaction
By: Science Media Centre
Land, Air And Sea: Regions To Benefit From NZ Upgrade
By: New Zealand Government
Statement On Guilty Plea Of March 15 Terrorist
By: New Zealand Government
Christchurch mosque attacks: Gunman pleads guilty to all charges
PM on mosque attacks anniversary: 'A year on gives us a chance as a nation to reflect'
Dunne Speaks: Nothing Much Has Changed Since March 15
By: Peter Dunne
Statement On Guilty Plea
By: Royal Commission of Inquiry into Attack on ChCh
Guilty Plea By Accused In Christchurch Mosque Attacks
By: Islamic Women's Council of New Zealand
Life In Prison Looms For Australia's Christchurch Gunman, Now NZ's First Convicted Terrorist
By: The Conversation
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media