The government has been accused of greenwashing in its draft plan to transform the fishing sector, with a lack of action on bottom trawling branded ‘an embarrassment’.

Forest and Bird’s Hauraki Gulf coordinator Bianca Ranson met with newly appointed Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Rachel Brooking at the launch of the draft Fishing Industry Transformation Plan in Auckland, last Thursday.

Bianca urged the public to make their voices heard on the plan, which is out for public consultation until 11 June.

“They [the government] are calling it a transformation plan, but it’s not transformative,” Bianca told Gulf News, “if it was, then it would have an end date for bottom trawling and there would be a plan in there for new vessels, new technology and sustainable fishing practices which move us away from one of the most destructive fishing practices on the planet, which is bottom trawling. 

“Two thirds of all of the fish caught in Aotearoa New Zealand are caught using bottom trawling, which destroys vital ecosystems; it just destroys everything in its path to get whatever species it is that they’re after. It’s an embarrassment for New Zealand that bottom trawling is still continuing, it’s also highly disappointing that they would put forward a transformation plan for the fisheries industry that has no end date in sight for bottom trawling.”

After properly examining the draft plan, Bianca has concerns about some of its wording, which she says smacks of greenwashing. • Liza Hamilton

Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!

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