17 Sep 2007

NZ fisheries minister dismisses call for more help for Pacific nations to counter pirate fishing

11:06 am on 17 September 2007

New Zealand's minister for fisheries has dismissed a repeated call by Greenpeace for New Zealand to do more to help Pacific countries prevent illegal fishing.

Greenpeace is again calling for more surveillance, funding and training to combat illegal fishing in the region and to help small island nations to use their resources better.

The Fisheries Minister, Jim Anderton, says New Zealand is upfront and doing a lot to combat pirate fishing.

But he says it can't do everything.

"Even if you had a thousand more boats you would be hard pressed. It is impossible to drop everything on every front that everybody wants. New Zealand has just commissioned five to six hundred million dollars worth of new vessels, some of them are just starting to come on stream, it will be a year or two before they become fully commissioned. And if Greenpeace has any better ideas, then let us know."

Jim Anderton says worldwide, ten billion dollars worth of fish are lost due to illegal fishing.