11 Jun 2013

Govt policy will make eels extinct: scientist

6:42 am on 11 June 2013

Massey University environmental science lecturer Mike Joy says New Zealand is driving its longfin eel population into extinction - for the sake of exporting to countries that have almost wiped out their own stocks of the species.

Ministers are waiting until November to decide whether to suspend commercial fishing of longfin eels, after an investigation and report on the population of the fish.

Dr Joy said commercial longfin eeling should stop now.

He's also annoyed that New Zealand is exporting the species to countries, such as America, Europe and Japan, where eels are extinct or on the verge of extinction.

Dr Joy said it's horrible to know there's a market for New Zealand eels in countries which have exhausted stocks of the species.