Daryl Sykes, Chief Executive of the New Zealand Rock Lobster Industry Council, has expressed frustration with the decisions made by Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy over the issue of fish thieving.

MPI announced that it would cut catch limits by up to 108 tonnes in fisheries around the country following advice from scientists and local iwi. Sykes said that these changes were generally accepted by the industry, but said that commercial and recreational fishers were annoyed that the Government was not doing enough to crack down in illegal fishers.

“The full burden of maintaining a sustainable lobster fishery again falls only on commercial operators by way of catch reductions, while fish thieves are fully provided for at the levels of catch estimated by MPI several years ago,” he said. “This is an untenable situation for the lobster industry and stronger representations will now be made to the Minister and to MPI to take action to effectively constrain illegal removals to improve fishing opportunity for legitimate commercial and non-commercial fishing interests.”