23 Oct 2011

Call to label source of seafood

7:13 am on 23 October 2011

Researchers at Auckland University's business school are calling for mandatory country of origin labelling for seafood.

They argue that a government investigation into the abuse of crew members on foreign deep sea charter vessels means the vessels' catch can not be claimed as a New Zealand product.

The ministerial inquiry is looking into the use of foreign flagged ships operating in New Zealand's exclusive economic zone.

Researcher Glenn Simmons was part of a team that produced a report on some of the crew abuse allegations that sparked the inquiry.

He says consumers have a right to know how their fish was caught and by which vessel.

New Zealand has resisted adopting mandatory labelling for seafood, although it has been law in Australia since 2004.

The Green Party says New Zealand markets itself to the world as 100% pure and with the fishing industry under investigation it can not afford to further risk damaging its international reputation.

More on the deepsea fishing industry can be heard on Insight on Sunday.