Ross Sea fishery would consider withdrawl
Tue, 23 Oct 2012 6:22p.m.
By Samantha Hayes
The Kiwi company that developed the $50 million toothfish fishery in the Ross Sea says it would consider pulling out if it was properly compensated.
Sanford made the revelation on TV3’s Firstline, as 25 countries - including New Zealand - meet in Hobart to discuss protection of the region, a near pristine environment in Antarctica that environmental campaigners call "the last ocean".
Sanford has been catching Antarctic toothfish for 14 years, and says it also helps police the Ross Sea for illegal fishing.
“Our boats have up to 200-mile radar coverage of the areas where it's operating and we're able to report on activities of other vessels,” says Sanford managing director Eric Barratt.
But this morning on Firstline, Sanford said it would consider giving up the $50 million a year fishery if it were sufficiently compensated.
“We developed the fishery,” says Mr Barratt. “We've put a lot of money, a lot of effort and a lot of development into it and if somebody wants to come along and buy us out of the fishery then they should approach us and do so.”
Mr Barratt says it would cost “a large sum, a very large sum” to withdraw from the Ross Sea.
Green groups were stunned at the turnaround, but responded positively, saying Sanford led the charge into the Ross Sea and can lead it out again, but shouldn't expect a cent.
“That's what we think is a bit cheeky,” says Karli Thomas of the Antarctic Ocean Alliance. “The fishing industry doesn't, and never will, own the Ross Sea, so it's not the responsibility of New Zealanders or the citizens of the world to buy it back off the fishing industry.”
The Last Ocean filmmaker Peter Young says it's opened the door for New Zealand to push for full protection.
“There's far more value in the Ross Sea as an intact marine ecosystem than just another fishing ground,” says Mr Young.
Today New Zealand tabled a proposal at an international meeting in Hobart that would protect a determined area. The trouble is there is an unprotected area where toothfish can be found and it doesn't prevent fishing there. Sanford supports the New Zealand proposal.
The United States tabled another proposal that provides more protection in the South, and isn't supported by Sanford.
The Antarctic Ocean Alliance says both proposals are too weak, and at this late stage there's little chance all 25 countries will reach consensus.
Closed-door negotiations will continue for the next nine days.
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28/10/2012 2:31:50 p.m.
How much did Sanfords pay for this natural resource?. Just as with every other fishery continue until depleted then move on to another. Time to start thinking about the fish.
25/10/2012 9:39:19 a.m.
Alain Jorion wrote:
Such a great proposal to protect the Ross Sea for eternity could be crushed by Sandfords who have flogged inshore New Zealand and now want dollars to compensate themselves from exploiting the Antartic unspoilt region.Shame on Sandfords who stand out as defiant to the rest or the world's wishes - to have one last area left as it was when the world began.
24/10/2012 1:06:40 p.m.
Philippa Ross wrote:
As the Great Great Great Grandaughter of the British Polar explorer, Sir James Clark Ross who discovered the Ross Sea, I would ask Sandford Fisheries to act with integrity - see the value of their idea in terms of how they would contribute to the environment as opposed to financial gain. Long term gain over short term pain will pay dividends to the fishing industry - so long as we respect our natural resources and don't take, take, take.
24/10/2012 12:28:23 p.m.
humans = virus
24/10/2012 8:51:39 a.m.
Chris in Chch wrote:
FOOLS, you are the fool here. Toothfish occupy the middle of the ecosystem - deplete them, and you'll wreck things for creatures above and below in the food chain. Then the Ross sea will become like any other piece of ocean around the globe, with rapidly depleting fish stocks in an out-of-balance ecosystem. Every action has a consequence. The greed of corporations, blindly supported by muppets like you, will exhaust the oceans of every last profitable fish, and this government will only show token efforts to stop it, as many politicians are key investors, seeking only to enter politics to tilt the table in their own direction. Hang your head in shame I say, all of you who support continued fishing in the Ross sea...
23/10/2012 10:09:34 p.m.
These greenies are winners. They expect a company to just walk away from a 50 mil a year business that they have invested millions in without compensation. You dont see any other business doing that. I would walk away from my business if you compensate me properly. Karli Thomas is a bit soft between the ears if she thinks big business is going to just give up because her and her dim witted mates think they should.
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