Barely a squeak

Stuff reports:

The Government has again delayed the installation of cameras on all commercial fishing boats, pushing mandatory monitoring of the industry beyond the election.

Labour has been accused of kowtowing to coalition partner NZ First and the interests of the fishing industry, which has opposed efforts to roll-out cameras onto vessels to monitor bycatch of seabirds and endangered dolphins.

The Government on Tuesday delayed a deadline for requiring nearly 1000 fishing boats to have onboard cameras, changing a July 1 “holding date” for the regulation to kick-in to October 1, 2021.

Once again Labour sells out. National introduced the legislation to have cameras on board fishing vessels. Labour, National and Greens could easily pass the law requiring this.

But Labour is allowing NZ First to block it.

National Party conservation spokeswoman Jacqui Dean said National continued to support the policy of putting cameras on fishing vessels, and it appeared the Green Party – a confidence and supply partner in the Government – had walked away from the idea.

Conservation Minister and Green MP Eugenie Sage recently issued a seabird protection plan that included no mention of cameras, Dean said.

Sage’s office did not respond to a request for comment. Instead, comment from Green Party animal welfare spokesman Gareth Hughes was provided.

“We are disappointed the roll-out date has been delayed again …. We know that cameras are an effective tool and we are working constructively with our partners in Government,” a statement from Hughes said.

Working constructively with our partners in Government seems to be code for rolling over and having our tummy tickled.

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