[11 June/Radio NZ]

Forest and Bird accused fishing boat skippers of wriggling out of oversight by an observer from the Ministry for Primary Industries despite being legally obliged to do so. Some boats are required to have an observer on board to check up on environmental requirements such as not catching too many fish and not accidentally snaring species such as dolphins or albatrosses. In some cases, skippers blankly refused and in others they argued there was no room on board their ship. There were 50 cases of avoidance between August 2016 and February 2018. Forest and Bird Chief Executive, Kevin Hague, said it was a serious problem and raised the question of what it is skippers were trying to prevent being seen. He welcomed the enforcement efforts, but believed more was needed.