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Today’s announcement of some cameras on fishing vessels is a disappointing back down and another broken promise from the Coalition Government, National’s Conservation Spokesperson Sarah Dowie says.

“The previous National Government proposed for more than 70 per cent of the commercial fleet to comply with an in-depth digital monitoring system that would have made a tangible difference in protecting our seabirds, marine wildlife and fisheries.

“The Government stalled these changes and has now significantly watered them down. It’s only proposing cameras on 28 of the more than 1000 commercial vessels in our fisheries. This isn’t even going to cover five per cent of the fishery.

“Once again we’re seeing who’s really in charge in this Government, NZ First has been staunchly against monitoring and its fingerprints are all over this underwhelming announcement.

“In the Government’s year of delivery this is another stark failure. The Minister for Fisheries said it was delaying the implementation so it could get it right, but it appears it was merely diminishing the original policy to a point where it will no longer be effective.

“This is a massive disappointment and will do nothing to protect our vulnerable marine species. The Government needs to take some ownership and introduce measures that will really protect the sustainability of New Zealand’s marine environment.”

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