It hasn’t been a good few weeks for the fishing industry. After the prosecution of a commercial fisher who killed 38 albatrosses on the West Coast, this week the impact of fishing industry on dolphins, seals, and seabirds was laid bare. An estimated 81 dolphins, 2,277 seabirds and 387 fur seals were killed by the commercial fishing industry in the most recent year. Fishing industry spokesperson George Clement added fuel to the fire by suggesting that the animals were at putting themselves at risk.
It’s not a good look. But just when you think the fishing industry is out of green credentials, we have the potential solution! Following the completion of the Million Dollar Mouse campaign to get mice off the Antipodes Island, we are wondering what is next for Predator Free New Zealand. There is one island left in the subantarctics which still has predators on it. At 45,000 hectares, Auckland Island is our largest subantarctic island, and is inhabited by pigs, cats and mice. A conservative estimate of the cost to remove pigs and cats was put at $22million.
Such an operation would provide enormous new real estate for our threatened seabirds to breed. So what do you say fishing industry, are you in?