Rachel's Precaution Reporter #91

"Foresight and Precaution, in the News and in the World"

Wednesday, May 23, 2007..............Printer-friendly version
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Table of Contents...

Argentina Recommends Alternatives to Incineration
  Argentina adopts a precautionary approach to solid waste
  incineration, favoring alternative technologies.
Fight Over Precautionary Approach to Fisheries in New Zealand
  The fisheries bill will place sustainability concerns ahead of
  commercial interests when there are gaps or flaws in information about
  fish stocks -- a precautionary approach. Opponents fear this will
  allow the fisheries minister to cut the total allowable catch without
  any basis.
New Zealand Fisheries Minister Advocates Precaution
  Simply put, this is the precautionary approach: If information is
  uncertain, we should lean on the side of protecting the fishery, not
  risking its destruction. Fish left in the sea, are fish in the bank.
  To keep on taking fish when you don't have a good idea of how many are
  left is, in my view, like robbing the bank.
Maori Groups Are Divided on Precautionary Approach to Fisheries
  "The precautionary approach (an internationally accepted standard)
  ought to help ensure sustainability and address the impacts of fishing
  on the aquatic environment."
Australian Fish Farmers Urge Precautionary Ban on Imported Species
  In Australia, fish farmers are worried that imported "ornamental"
  fish carry novel disease organisms that could infect commercial
Welsh Radiation Expert Sounds Wi-Fi Warning for Sleeping Children
  Biologist Roger Coghill, of Pontypool-based Coghill Research
  Laboratories, has warned parents not to use wi-fi until the science is
  proven. "It's a precautionary principle I'm advocating," he said.


From: Coalicion Ciudadana Anti-Incineracion (Argentina), May 22, 2007
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Argentina recommends promoting alternatives to waste incineration in
the Stockholm Convention ("POPs Treaty") National Implementation Plan

Buenos Aires -- The National Secretary of Environment and Sustainable
Development submitted its National Implementation Plan of the
Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (the "POPs
Treaty"), where it recommends promoting alternative to incineration
for managing wastes in order to reduce emissions of dioxins and

The Stockholm Convention on POPs*, signed in 2001 under the framework
of the UN, aims to reduce, with the final goal to eliminate, the
emissions of the most toxic chemicals known. The initial list of
substances to eliminate includes 9 pesticides, polychlorinated
biphenyls or PCBs, dioxins and furans. Five other chemicals where
added to the list in the last Conference of the Parties. Argentina
ratified the Convention in January 2005, and presented its National
Implementation Plan (NIP) as a following procedure.**

Waste incineration is classified in the Convention as one of the main
sources of dioxin and furan emissions to the environment. Argentina
still has dozens of incinerators of industrial, medical and urban
waste under operation. Despite the fact that Argentina ratified the
Stockholm Convention, there are still many incinerator proposals in
the country, added to a promotion of waste-to-energy.

In the NIP, Argentina describes the steps it plans to take to meet its
obligations under the Convention, to reduce emissions of these toxic
substances. To reduce dioxin and furan emissions from municipal solid
waste management, the submitted Plan recommends "promoting a ban over
incineration as a treatment and disposal technology for this type of
waste, including the use of waste as input to produce energy."

In relation to the emissions coming from medical waste management and
treatment, it is stated that "waste management manuals should be
developed to reduce the volume of wastes produced at animal and human
healthcare centers, both public and private, oriented to use treatment
and disposal technologies that don't produce POPs."

The Anti-Incineration Citizens Coalition [Coalicion Ciudadana Anti-
Incineracion] celebrates the inclusion of these measures, which aim at
preventing dioxin and furan emissions in the first place, through the
implementation of methods and technologies that don't produce these

"The fact that the Stockholm Convention National Implementation Plan
recommends banning incineration is an important step to prevent
pollution, but equally important is that this gets reflected in
concrete measures. Given that there are waste management systems that
don't produce POPs, no new incinerator should be allowed in the
country, and a plan to close the existent incinerators should be
implemented", said Luis Tuninetti, Director of Eco-Sitio and member of
the Coalition.

The Anti-Incineration Citizens Coalition [Coalicion Ciudadana Anti-
Incineracion] is a national network of citizens and NGOs that live
next to waste incinerators or face incinerator proposals in their
communities. Since its foundation in 1995, the Coalition works to
eradicate waste incineration, promoting at the same time sustainable
waste management methods. During these years, the Coalition was a key
factor in getting 17 municipalities to ban or restrict waste
incineration in the country.***

Press contact:

Silvana Bujan: Tel: (54 223) 479-2474 Mobile: (54 223) 155 019937



* The Stockholm Convention is available here:

** The National Implementation Plan can be downloaded here:

*** The municipalities that have banned or restricted waste
incineration in Argentina are: Buenos Aires city, Rosario, Granadero
Baigorria, Coronel Bogado, Totoras, Casilda, Capitan Bermúdez, Villa
Constitucion (province of Santa Fe), Villa Allende, Marcos Juarez and
Villa Nueva (Cordoba), Esquel (Chubut), Palpala (Jujuy), San Juan,
General Pueyrredon and Tres Arroyos (province of Buenos Aires) and
Crespo (Entre Rios). The texts of the ordinances and laws are
available here: http://noalaincineracion.org/argentina/prohibiciones


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From: Newswire.co.nz, May 22, 2007
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Labour's Maori MPs [members of parliament] and a parliamentary
committee considering contentious legislation widening scope to cut
the fishing catch are trying to apply brakes to the process.

Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton has accused the industry and some MPs
of being fanatical in their opposition to the bill amending the 11-
year-old Fisheries Act.

He wants the bill passed into law before the October deadline for
setting the next round of allowable catches, and has given MPs on the
primary production select committee till June 12 to report back to the

But the committee has asked for more time. And Labour's Maori MPs are
about to meet Mr Anderton to thrash out their concerns about the bill.

Select committee chairman, National MP David Carter, said the
committee wanted to get more advice from the Fisheries Ministry.

"We just cannot get it back in a reasonable form in that time," he
said. He would be seeking an extension till early August.

The bill will place sustainability concerns ahead of commercial
interests when there are gaps or flaws in information about fish

Opponents fear this will allow the minister to cut the total allowable
catch without any basis.

Mr Carter said if the law were to err on the side of sustainability
when there was uncertainty about fish stocks, there would be a risk to
the reasonable use of the stock.

Maori MPs generally are unhappy about the bill's potential to impact
on income flow from the 1992 Sealord fisheries settlement.

The Maori Party has publicly stated its opposition to the bill, while
Labour's Maori MPs invited Mr Anderton to meet them tonight.

Mr Anderton argues that international best practice is for fishery
managers to adopt a precautionary approach when information is

In an angry speech to the seafood industry today he took his critics
to task, denied the bill would undermine the Sealord settlement and
insisted that it would not lead to wholesale changes in current catch

"What I don't expect from a responsible industry is attempts to ambush
a responsible long-term, sustainable policy programme built around the
internationally recognised and accepted precautionary principle," Mr
Anderton said.

Copyright Newsroom 2007

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From: Scoop (Wellington, New Zealand), May 22, 2007
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Speech at the New Zealand Seafood Industry Conference 2007

By Jim Anderton

[Jim Anderton is the Fisheries Minister of New Zealand.]

Thank you for the opportunity to join you again for your conference. I
have a simple message for you today: Our fishing industry has an
exciting future; but it has to confront some difficult issues to
maximise the opportunities ahead.

Fishing in New Zealand has twin long-term challenges: Development of
the industry to realise its strong commercial potential. And ensuring
our development is sustainable, so that our resource is managed for
today and tomorrow.

Both the future profitability and the ongoing sustainability of the
industry need to be addressed together; that's only going to happen
through constructive, forward looking relationships with the
government and across the industry.

I am not going to pretend it is all champagne and roses in getting to
where we want to go. In fact, I think we need to lift our act by being
realistic about the challenges we need to meet and in making serious
efforts to find solutions we can all accept.

I want to be very clear about where the opportunities exist -- about
where we need to do better, faster. And I'm warning that I'm
disappointed with progress in some sectors. If you think I'm going to
leave it there, you don't know me very well. The overall context is
good. The world market for seafood is thriving. As world demand grows,
demand for our exports will grow. Fishing is seven times bigger today
than it was twenty years ago. Our seafood exports are worth over $3
million a day to New Zealand.

I know exporting businesses aren't helped by the high value of the
dollar, high interest rates and fuel costs. In some ways the New
Zealand economy has been a victim of its own success. Over the last
seven years as we've powered through the longest continuous period of
economic growth in decades, some imbalances have arisen. Domestic
demand is racing ahead of our export receipts.

The government is doing what it can to meet those challenges -- for
example, running strong fiscal surpluses, saving through the National
Superannuation Fund and now introducing Kiwisaver. These initiatives
will help to divert domestic demand from spending to saving, make more
capital available for business and take pressure off inflation,
interest rates and the dollar.

In the budget last week, we cut business tax for the first time in
twenty years. We introduced the most comprehensive package of research
and development incentives, export market development and
international investment tax reforms in a generation.

These measures will make a substantial difference over the long haul.
But anyone who thinks there are short-term solutions to the issues is
telling tall fishing tales.

And we can't do much about the low US dollar or high international
fuel prices. Instead, we have to get on with meeting our long-term
challenges. I'm being frank today: We need to do better at pulling
together to achieve both development and sustainability.

Everyone has to give something. I'll turn to some specifics in a
moment. But first I want to recap some of our successes from co-
operating. I am encouraged by the positive successes we have had where
the industry has worked well and co-operatively, and worked in
partnership with the government. In aquaculture, Benthic Protection
Areas, the Deepwater Memorandum of Understanding and the paua fishery
- these are examples we can build on.

It's worth recapping these, because they show the way we need to go in
other areas. Aquaculture, for example, has a big part to play in our
future and the sector has produced a compelling strategy. It's vision
is to create a billion dollar industry by 2025. I think the vision is

To give you an idea of the rate of global growth -- a United Nations
study said demand for seafood around the world would grow by a third
over the next ten years. There are not enough fish in the sea to meet
the demand, so the rapidly expanding demand will have to be met from
fish farming.

I was in Tokyo last month and I went to see the Tsukiji [sue-key-gee]
fish market. It's the biggest seafood market in the world -- in fact
one of the world's largest food markets of any kind, selling
everything from sardines to tuna and caviar. Seven hundred thousand
tonnes of seafood a year are handled by the market -- worth close to
ten billion New Zealand dollars. Forty-four percent of the market's
produce -- nearly half of it -- is from aquaculture. That's just in
one -- very large -- market -- and there are another eighty-seven
markets in Japan alone.

So this is a sector with an exciting future, and the government is
engaging with it. When Aquaculture New Zealand is launched next month,
on the 7th of June, the government will release its response to the
sector strategy.

In the meantime, we've been very active. When I was Minister of
Economic Development and the aquaculture industry needed a strategy to
chart a future course for the sector, the Government provided $112,000
to develop one.

Last year when a new industry body was required to implement the
strategy the Government provided a further $70,000 to get this off the

Last year the Government allocated $2.9m for assisting the aquaculture
industry and Regional Councils to progress aquaculture management
areas through the planning process.

We set up a ministers' group and ministry chief executives' group to
oversee the work of government departments on aquaculture. We will
also set up a regular forum where central and local government and
industry leaders can discuss aquaculture growth at senior levels.

So the government is playing its part. And when we look at some of the
details, there is more to think about. National standards will be one
of the pillars of the aquaculture sector's development. Why? Because
it suits our industry to be able to demonstrate we have world class
standards of industry and environmental management.

Consumers are demanding it; and if consumers want it -- and we can
show we are achieving high standards while other countries can't --
then that will help our industry as a whole. There is no point in
joining a race to the bottom. There is nothing in that for New Zealand
long term.

We can achieve a premium and avoid being punished by international
markets if we have standards in place that show strong commitment to
the sound environmental management of our fishery. This is not just
theoretical. This is a shark that is already circling our boat.

When I was in Europe last year the hot issue was carbon costs and
'food miles' -- targeting the carbon used in transporting food long
distances. Clearly, as the world's most remote food producer, we have
to respond to these issues and get ahead of the game.

Concerns over food miles and the like are also an opportunity for us.
Last month, Ireland's Minister for Fisheries expressed strong support
for initiatives to ensure that fish products sold in Europe carry eco-
friendly labelling. This is an opportunity for New Zealand, because we
can show that our products are eco-friendly. We can claim to be as
ecologically careful as any nation on earth.

National standards will be part of the package of our response. The
aquaculture industry made national standards one of the pillars of its
strategy for development, and I see this as a sign of a far-sighted,
encouraging and realistic approach. It's a good example of where the
industry and government can work together.

I want this lesson to be studied in other areas. The Ministry has
recently completed consultation on three standards and is about to
begin consultation on the next batch.

I know there have been industry concerns. I want to make it clear that
whether or not we have standards will not be up for debate. Standards
are an integral part of objectives based fisheries management. That is
the way we are going to manage fisheries in the future, so standards
are here to stay.

There is room for debate around development and setting of standards.
But it's a waste of everyone's time to debate whether standards should
exist at all. Standards benefit the industry. Standards make
Government bottom lines transparent. Standards give you more certainty
about what you have to achieve.

The devil is in the detail and we need to pay careful attention to
ensuring the standards that are put in place achieve what we want at
least possible cost. This is where your input is important. I urge you
and the rest of industry to make the most of your opportunity to
contribute to their development.

I believe the government is being a very constructive partner in
engaging with the industry. We demonstrated that in the recent,
pioneering Benthic Protection Areas initiative. It will see a diverse
range of New Zealand's underwater habitats protected from bottom-
trawling and dredging. Through this one initiative, we will protect
thirty percent of our seabed. It took many decades to achieve
something similar on land. This is a substantial leap forward for
marine protection and I congratulate the industry for its responsible

And while I have some tough messages today for the industry -- I also
believe this settlement shows the need for others with a view about
fisheries to show some goodwill too. I was not impressed with
criticism by some NGOs of the Benthic initiative. When the industry
takes proactive steps, it deserves recognition and support. I am
disappointed that some groups -- including some of my parliamentary
colleagues -- behaved fanatically, rather than welcoming this pleasing

When I say I want everyone with a stake in fishing to work co-
operatively, I mean *everyone*, not just the industry. Those who don't
are not being responsible and not helping anyone -- not even

The Deepwater Memorandum of Understanding is another example of a
positive partnership. The agreement between the Ministry of Fisheries
and deepwater quota owners provides a forum for frank discussions and
it is already proving successful. For example, I am very satisfied
with the way the squid fishery operated this year, including the
efforts to reduce incidental sea lion mortality. What we are seeing is
the benefit of working with co-operation and goodwill. The paua
fishery is another example where good co-operation between the
ministry and the industry produces mutual benefits.

I am disgusted with poaching and the black market paua trade. Every
year about three hundred tonnes of paua are taken illegally. In places
like Hong Kong a kilogram of paua can fetch up to $100. So the
incentive to export illegally harvested shellfish is high. But it is
stealing and it harms legitimate fishing, threatens the future of the
resource and decreases the value of one of our most valuable

Recreational fishers and the industry have joined in the "Poaching is
Theft" campaign. The 0800 4 POACHER freephone gets around two hundred
phone calls a month from the public and it helped us prosecute over
seventy poachers since July last year. At the Auckland and
Christchurch airports and the international post office, two paua-
sniffing dogs have been screening baggage and mail.

There is a lot of work going on beyond enforcement, as well. With
support from Paua Management Action Committees and the Paua Industry
Council, we have been able to improve fishing data and reseed depleted
stocks. There has been education for divers on how to harvest or
return paua so that its chance of survival is maximised.

One of the best advances has been the ability of the industry to
create and apply their own management decisions. It has enabled us all
to better monitor the effects of change. This has only been achieved
by moving from an industry made up of individual harvesters to a
unified collective of responsible fishers that look after the resource
with identified management frameworks.

So there are some positive examples of partnership and goodwill that
have produced good results. It is crucial for the industry to
recognise the gains as we deal with other, tough issues.

Cost recovery is a complex and contentious example. A Joint Crown-
Industry Working Group was set up early this year, to review the cost
recovery rules and how they are applied to fisheries and conservation
services. It's going slower than planned, but I understand it is still
maintaining a constructive approach. I am keeping an open mind until I
receive its report. But I urge everyone involved to find solutions
which everyone can accept.

I believe the government, for its part, is showing goodwill. You asked
that the Government not use the Cost Recovery Review to increase costs
on the industry and we listened and agreed to cap current costs for
current services.

The draft statement of intent for the coming year included around $6m
of cost-recovered services from the industry. When I met with the
SEAFIC policy council earlier this year your representatives argued
that such cost increases would be crippling. They asked me not to
introduce them at a time when the industry is suffering significant
cost pressure from the exchange rate and fuel costs.

I took those messages on board and I directed the Ministry to defer
these initiatives at this time, other than the update of the inshore
trawl form which I understand the industry supports. So you can be
reassured that I will respond co-operatively to reasoned

I would like to be able to report similar constructive co-operation
around discussions on shared fisheries. But what I have actually found
is defensiveness. The commercial sector -- and others -- need to wake

Let me make this clear: The current management of shared fisheries is
unsatisfactory. It has to get better. And in the process of making it
better, I have invited you to be in the boat. But the alternative is
that you won't be aboard. The ship will still sail.

The current shared fishing management system is not acceptable. There
is a lack of guidance. There is uncertainty about allocation
decisions. There is uncertainty about provision for recreational and
Maori customary take.

Shared fisheries proposals are not designed to take anyone's rights
away, but to clear up uncertainty. I am yet to hear anyone tell me why
it's a good idea to leave important issues in a state of uncertainty.
Uncertainty threatens investments by the commercial sector.
Uncertainty discourages conservation efforts. And uncertainty gets in
the way of constructive cooperation amongst stakeholders.

The submission process showed that there is considerable support for
change across the areas identified in the public discussion document.
So if you accept that, then you accept there is a need for a better
system. And therefore we should be able to resolve it; but it needs
everyone to come out of their corners. I know some industry figures
took exception to my observation that some of the reaction to Shared
Fisheries had been "hysterical". For their benefit, let me again
repeat my view that the outrageous analysis of Shared Fisheries
proposals I've seen have indeed been "hysterical". I went to
considerable lengths to ensure that compensation was the benchmark for
any reallocation. On many occasions I have reiterated that any
reallocation should be on a willing buyer willing seller basis.

The Government will not, under any circumstances, undermine the Deed
of Settlement or the Quota Management System. We have made this clear
from day one but those with an agenda to create hysteria claimed we

Those who thought they were being clever by trying to torpedo the
Shared Fisheries project got a rude shock when Justice Harrison handed
down his findings on the kahawai case. The judgement has profound
implications for the commercial sector.

If the Shared Fisheries process now fails we will be falling back on
the existing legislation -- and if the Court of Appeal upholds the
findings of Justice Harrison then I, and future Ministers, will be
providing for the social, cultural and economic well-being of
recreational fishers without much guidance or certainty. And we will
be making such decisions before we turn to the TACC. The Court have
not provided me with guidance on how we take into account commercial
rights and values and Settlement rights.

So that wasn't a great strategy was it? Agitators who whipped up
anxiety about Shared Fisheries will have torpedoed the one framework
that would have seen reallocation happen on a compensated willing
buyer willing seller basis. Everyone who told you they were acting in
your interests was doing exactly the opposite. In an effort to get
themselves a Rolls Royce, they got everyone else, including
themselves, a moped.

I am willing to give Shared Fisheries another try. I am a patient
person. I am prepared to recommend to Cabinet a negotiated process
between the major parties. But I can't guarantee Cabinet will want to
continue with the matter because of the anxieties already stirred up.
There is a saying I use often, "be careful what you wish for because
you just might get it".

While we are on the subject of clearing up uncertainty, you will know
I want to see an amendment to the Fisheries Act to clarify the law and
provide clearer direction to those making fisheries management
decisions where information is inadequate.

Simply put, this is the precautionary approach. If information is
uncertain, we should lean on the side of protecting the fishery, not
risking its destruction. Fish left in the sea, are fish in the bank.
To keep on taking fish when you don't have a good idea of how many are
left is, in my view, like robbing the bank.

And let's just be clear about this -- why would anyone interested in
the long term vitality and growth of the fishing industry want to risk
destroying the very resource it is based on? Why would anyone want to
risk the public odium, and the backlash in international markets to
our efforts to achieve a premium for our sustainable management? A
short-term focus, based on narrow self-interest is not just selfish
and myopic. It is indefensible.

My amendment will make clear that where information is uncertain,
decision-makers should be particularly careful and not delay to ensure
the resource is managed sustainably. Decision makers will still be
required to think about how their decisions affect both sustainability
and utilisation. Decisions will still need to be consistent with the
purpose of the Act, which will remain unchanged. That is "providing
for utilization while ensuring sustainability".

But it will help ensure a more sustainable resource base and that's
good for the industry and good for New Zealand.

This is not about undermining the Deed of Settlement. This is about
future proofing the settlement and safeguarding the resource for our
mokopuna. These amendments will not lead to wholesale changes in
current TACCs. Over time, in some situations where information is
uncertain and there are signals for concern, there may well be some
constraints in short-term utilisation of some fisheries, but only
where caution is required. Short-term inconveniences will help to
ensure a more sustainable base for the industry in the long-term.

I have to say that I am unimpressed that parts of the industry do not
show more leadership in protecting the sustainability of our precious
marine resource base.

How does it help any fishing business in the long term if stocks are
ruined? What sort of basis for building an industry is that? Some
among your ranks have claimed there is no problem with the Act as it
is currently written. Why then did I see an industry submission last
year that said, and I quote: "There is no presumption in favour of
preserving the resource for future generations that the Minister
should revert to... the Ministry's approach to the principle that
'decision makers should be cautious' is that long-term sustainability
issues should be preferred. But this is to misapply this information
principle... Making a decision that involves a very significant cut to
the current levels of utilization of that resource is not to be
'cautious' at all."

This industry submission was made in relation to Orange Roughy One,
where there had been misreporting and criminal behaviour. Faced with
an Adaptive Management Plan, (which I consider to be a privilege, not
a right) where I could not have confidence in the stock information,
but where the apparent catch was well under the TACC, I made the call
that this AMP should be cancelled and the TACC returned to the level
at which it had been originally set. On seeking an injunction, the
judge sympathised with the industry submission and said in effect
'carry on fishing', so how does that work?

Contrary to popular belief the Courts have not provided a clear
statement that section 10 requires decision makers to ensure
sustainability when information is uncertain. Rather they have
suggested that this section requires a balancing.

You can't balance, or trade off, sustainability with utilisation.
Sustainability is a bottom line, within which utilization must be

This has not been the interpretation your industry has always put
forward. Just last December SEAFIC wrote to me and said: "The cautious
approach that section 10 requires relates to both the utilization of
the resource as well as its sustainability (and is therefore wider
than typical expression of the "precautionary approach" in literature
and law)."

And then this morning I heard the chief executive contradicting this
by saying the current section 10 is entirely consistent with
international law.

The UN Fish Stocks Agreement, the Convention on the Conservation and
Management of Fishery Resources in the South Pacific, the Western and
Central Pacific Ocean Fish Stocks Convention and the FAO Technical
Guidelines for Responsible Fisheries all state that where information
is lacking caution should exercised in order to protect and conserve
the marine environment, not provide for utilization.

Back in 2002 in the seamount litigation industry lawyers argued that
by closing certain seamounts the Minister acted contrary to section
10. In particular, they argued he acted contrary to his obligations
under section 10 to provide for utilisation. There are other examples
similar to this.

So your lawyers have tangled you up in inconsistencies and confusion -
this is what lawyers do. I want to amend the Act so it is absolutely
crystal clear that sustainability is the priority and no lawyer or
court can cast any doubt on it. Sustainability is too important for us
to be in any doubt about its priority.

What I want is for us to agree that sustainability is the bottom line
and to make this clear in section 10 so the lack of information is not
used as a reason to delay taking measures to protect fisheries.

I said to you last year, don't waste your money on lawyers. Work with
me and judge me on overall results. I said to you that sometimes
decisions would go in your favour, like increasing the in-season FRML
in the squid fishery last year or delaying introduction of albacore
and skipjack into the QMS. But sometimes I will have to make difficult
calls that you won't like. We have to take a mature approach to this
and reverting to the Courts, is not in my view a sensible use of yours
or the Ministry's time and resources.

Lawyers love litigation and they will goad you into taking me to Court
but if I find I can't protect the sustainability of our fisheries I
will have to try to change the law so that I can. And this is what I
am now doing.

For all that, the government is committed to engaging co-operatively
with the industry. I am personally committed to your industry's
development -- always have been -- and I will listen reasonably to any
pragmatic and sensible concerns about its development. I demonstrated
that in responding to concerns over cost recovery, as I mentioned.

I will remain your strongest advocate in public and at the Cabinet
table, and I have defended you time and again and for my efforts I get
mother's day cards from orphaned sealions. But I expect that from

What I don't expect from a responsible industry is attempts to ambush
a responsible, long-term, sustainable policy programme built around
the internationally recognised and accepted precautionary principle.

I believe the issues I've just outlined show the industry can do more
to show its commitment to partnership and sustainability. I invite you
to work on the relationship with government and its agencies because
that is the best way to maximise your input and secure the best
outcomes as you see them.

As a gesture of the Government's goodwill, I am announcing today $4.6
million to fund environmental certification of our fisheries exports.
This initiative is designed so you can get higher premiums for your
products in international markets and be rewarded for taking a
sustainable approach to fisheries management.

However, if you persist in opposing aligning the Fisheries Act with
international best-practice then it will be hard to convince your
customers, and the New Zealand public, that your commitment to
sustainability is anything but skin deep.

No one is going to get everything they want. But with goodwill we can
all get what we can accept. Goodwill means recognising the variety of
valid perspectives. It means recognising that everyone has a stake in
the development of the industry and in managing it to mutual

What will not work is taking a short-term view. What will not work is
ignoring facts and evidence. What will not work is holding out for
narrow self interest. Any solution to any problem that doesn't reflect
a reasonable consensus will be unstable and ultimately it will fail.
And what will not work is thinking I am going to be swayed by self-
pity, self-interest or obstruction.

I want to finish on a positive note. I've had some tough messages for
you today, but they are tough because I believe you are tough enough
to take them and I want to be tough about making the most of the
opportunities our fishing industry has ahead of it.

Sustainable management of our fisheries is crucial if we are going to
protect our resource. Sustainable management is crucial if we are
going to develop the industry, battle away the growing protectionist
threats we are facing and achieve a premium for our fish exports.

We all have a responsibility to row the boat. And I see awareness is
growing everywhere that we can benefit from careful management.

I welcome the partnerships that have furthered our progress on these
fronts to date. And I look forward to the industry taking steps to
strengthen its relationships with the government even further in the

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From: Scoop.co.nz, May 21, 2007
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Mid North Iwi Fisheries Forum Opposes Maori Fisheries Trust on
Fisheries Amendment Bill

[We saw last week that the Maori Fisheries Trust believes the
precautuionary principle is being used as a ploy to reduce Maori
fishing rights. This week another Maori fisheries group disagrees.]

The Hokianga Accord -- the mid north iwi regional fisheries forum --
ratified calls for a more precautionary approach in fisheries
management and opposes the argument to withdraw the Fisheries
Amendment Bill from Te Ohu Kaimoana, the Maori Fisheries Trustee.

The intention of the amendment is to enable the Minister of Fisheries
to take precautionary measures to ensure sustainability, if the
available information is uncertain.

"Our position is clear. Food on the table for the whanau and our
mokopuna must take priority over commercial interests. Ministerial
caution when making decisions is in the interests of all sector groups
to ensure ongoing sustainability of the resource," said Te Runanga A
Iwi O Ngapuhi representative, Paul Haddon.

Ngapuhi, New Zealand's largest iwi, has been an integral part of the
Hokianga Accord. The forum is dedicated to working on behalf of all
New Zealanders to achieve the objective of more fish in the water /
kia maha atu nga ika i roto te wai.

"Making allocation decisions without adequate caution would be
counter-productive and in nobody's long term interests. Our objective
is supported by iwi and many recreational fishing groups -- both Maori
and Pakeha -- who make up the Hokianga Accord."

"Ngapuhi believe that this approach is critical to its substantial
commercial interests' long-term sustainability. We will support
measures that aim to improve abundance and achieve environmental
sustainability for the wellbeing of all people."

Mr Haddon also pointed out that Te Ohu Kaimoana's argument for the
Bill to be dropped is flawed because past allocation decisions have
resulted in fisheries not recovering quickly enough, meaning less fish
are available when New Zealanders fish to feed their families.

"When Maori go fishing for a kai, 99.99% of the time we are
categorised as recreational fishers. Iwi working closely with other
recreational fishing groups is resulting in a valuable, ongoing
working relationship.

"The Hokianga Accord is proof that when it comes to the sea both Maori
and Pakeha want the same thing, improved fisheries, a healthy marine
environment and increased understanding of the benefits of communities
working together."

A draft submission supporting the intention of the Bill was presented
and debated during a recent Hokianga Accord hui held at Oturei marae,
Dargaville. The forum expects any changes to the Act to be consistent
with the recent High Court kahawai case that confirmed the Minister's
obligation to allow for both customary and recreational fishing
interests, to enable people to provide for their wellbeing.

The precautionary approach (an internationally accepted standard)
ought to help ensure sustainability and address the impacts of fishing
on the aquatic environment.

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From: Fish Farmer, May 21, 2007
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It has been suggested by University of Sydney Professor, Richard
Whittington, a specialist in the health of aquatic animals, that the 8
to 10 million ornamental fish imported into Australia carry a
"plethora of exotic pathogens and parasites recorded and not yet

"There is no doubt that aquarium fish that are being imported into
Australia every week carry pathogens that have the potential to cause
severe ecological impacts," he was reported as saying. Professor
Whittington and Dr Roger Chong, of Queensland's Department of Primary
Industries and Fisheries, report on the serious threat posed by
imported ornamental fish, in an article published online prior to its
publication in a peer reviewed journal.

As has been claimed by the Australian aquaculture industry,
Whittington says that whilst this country has some of the most
stringent customs and quarantine standards for importing ornamental
fish, they are not good enough.

According to Growfish, one of the reasons he claims stems from
international trade rules that only allow blocking the imports of
ornamental fish where there is recognised scientific data to back up
the ban.

The issue, Whittington claims, is the situation where collecting such
detailed information on fish diseases is both "laborious and
expensive" and that the majority of imported ornamental fish are from
developing countries where disease surveillance is comparatively

"Those [trade] rules need to be revised to enable us to protect
ourselves," he was reported as having said.

He says Australia needs to be able to block imports of fish whose
diseases (and parasites) have not been studied.

Biosecurity Australia (BA) advise that the rules require that imported
fish must spend up to 21 days in quarantine. There is an initial
inspection when the fish first arrive and any diseased fish must be
re-exported, destroyed or treated by the importer, a BA spokesperson

Whittington pointed out that this regime was ineffective in 2003 when
there was a highly damaging outbreak of a serious viral disease, which
stemmed from imported gourami fish.

A Murray cod farm in Victoria lost 90% of its stock to gourami
iridovirus. Had the farm used the common practice of discharging its
waste into local water ways the already threatened species could have
been devastated, fortunately this was not the case on this farm.
Whittington also noted that inspection of imported fish on arrival
clearly cannot pick up non-systematic pathogens that aren't evident at
the time, including those that don't impact on the imported
ornamentals but are potentially dangerous to natives.

Further, he claims that inspections are ineffective and inspections
won't be much use for new diseases that little is known about, he

A spokesperson for BA claimed there is a review of quarantine policy
for ornamental fish with regard to iridoviruses currently underway and
that BA organisation is closely examining Whittington and Chong's

However, Whittington, is of the view that Australian regulators are
constantly "one step behind" the latest threats, because a problem
must occur prior to them getting the scientific data upon which to
base a meaningful risk analysis.

"It's after the event every time," he was quoted as saying. Given the
likelihood of problem diseases in imported ornamental fish, Wittington
claimed BA should actively lobby internationally for Australia's right
to use the precautionary principle where data is unavailable or

BA's spokesperson pointed out that the organisation is already
involved in determining international standards for a "robust science-
based approach to quarantine".

"We would review quarantine policies in light of any new science that
may become available," the BA spokesman was reported to have said. But
he claimed, however, that it is beyond BA's remit to make an official
comment on Whittington's call for a more rigorous precautionary

Wittington called attention to the fact that the Australian government
has long held concerns over the disease potential of ornamental fish
going back to the 1980s, following the entry into Australia of the
bacterial pathogen Aeromonas salmonicida with imported goldfish from

As some of the goldfish were used for bait and unwanted animals were
disposed of by members of the public into local waterways, he claimed
that wild fish and fish on farms were infected with grave concerns
held for the Atlantic salmon farms in Tasmania.

Wittington and Chong's paper also details the problems caused by
fighting fish imported from Singapore in the 1980s and their threat to
wild eels and farmed rainbow trout.

"There are examples of 22 species of imported aquarium fish that have
set up breeding populations in rivers in Australia," says Whittington
in local media.

"These infectious diseases could be the straw that leads to the
extinction of endangered species, like the Murray cod."

www.fishfarmer-magazine.com is published by Special Publications.
Special Publications also publishes FISHupdate.com, FISHupdate
magazine, Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish
Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a
range of wallplanners.

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From: icWales.co.uk, May 21, 2007
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By Rhodri Clark, Western Mail

A Welsh radiation expert has warned of the dangers posed by wireless
internet technology to sleeping children.

The fears come amid claims that so-called "wi-fi" internet connections
in schools could damage children.

An episode of BBC's Panorama will tonight investigate claims that wi-
fi networks in schools can give off greater levels of signal radiation
than a typical mobile phone mast.

Government advice recommends masts [towers] are not sited near schools
without consultation as children are thought to be more vulnerable to
radio frequency radiation emissions than adults, the series states.

But with more and more homes installing wi-fi (wireless fidelity) as
phone companies offer the necessary equipment free to new subscribers,
fresh concerns have been raised about its suitability in the home.

Biologist Roger Coghill, of Pontypool-based Coghill Research
Laboratories, has warned parents not to use wi-fi until the science is

"It's a precautionary principle I'm advocating," he said.

"The risk is probably greater in the home than in schools because
people don't sleep at school. Sleep is the principal time when we
repair our cells."

Wi-fi allows laptop and other computers to access the internet from
anywhere in the house, and often from the garden.

Games consoles can already use wi-fi for online gaming, and other
devices are likely to require wi-fi in the future.

Scientific evidence about the health impact of wi-fi has yet to be
generated because the technology is only now being taken up widely
after hotels, airport lounges and other public areas led the way.

Mr Coghill said wi-fi in the home would add to the electromagnetic
fields there -- on top of those from sources such as mobile-phone

Mr Coghilll, a member of the Government's advisory committee on
electromagnetic fields, will attend a conference in Japan next month
to hear about the latest research on wi-fi's possible health effects.

He said, "What we can say, based on the laws of physics, is that all
electric fields are super-positive, so that if you have a base level
of radiation in your environment and you bring out a new source, it
does actually add to it. As it builds up, that impact increases. It's
worse for children than adults because they are still growing," added
Mr Coghill.

Electromagnetic radiation disturb the body's own electrical fields,
for example ones controlling heart beat or cell development.

Wi-fi kits feature a box with an antenna which creates a field in
which computers can communicate wirelessly with the internet.

Mike Reddy, an expert in future technology at the University of Wales,
Newport, said some antennae had a range of 350ft butthe ones given
away free to domestic consumers would normally have a range of 35-70ft
in all directions.

He said consumers should ask themselves whether they needed to use the
free wi-fi kit they got from their phone company, or whether wired
connections -- faster than wi-fi -- were practical.

"People will say, 'I've got this thing anyway, so I'll use it.' Or
they'll think, 'Now I can have internet access in every room.' But do
you really need it in every room?" said Dr Reddy.

"The strength of the signal can be turned up and down. If you feel you
have to use wi-fi, set it so that the signal you have just works -
rather than putting it on to full strength.

"If you want to be cautious, keep your children away from your wi-fi."

He said users should turn off their wi-fi boxes whenever they weren't
connecting wirelessly, to prevent people outside the house using the
connection as well as guarding against possible health impact.

Mr Coghill, whose lab has been researching electromagnetic fields for
25 years, said electronic technology should be subjected to similar
rules as medicines, with trials to prove the safety of new products
before they went on sale.

Parental warnings

The advice about avoiding home wi-fi if possible is the latest worry
for parents to contend with. Others include:

Too much TV: Psychologist Aric Sigman recently told MPs that children
under three should watch no TV at all, to reduce the chances of them
becoming couch potatoes.

The dangerous outdoors: Worries about road accidents and stranger
danger mean children spend less time playing with friends in the
streets than a generation or two ago.

Too little exercise: Parents should feel guilty if their children
aren't taking enough exercise. Even if the kids aren't overweight now,
they could develop lifestyles that could harm their health later.

Internet entrapmentPaedophiles can pose as teenagers in internet chat
rooms and set up clandestine meetings with inexperienced young people.

Mobile-phone radiation: The effects on children of radiation from
mobile-phone masts, and the use of mobile phones by youngsters, are
still being debated.

Salt, fat and sugar: Parents are constantly told that children's bad
diet is threatening to overwhelm the NHS with future ailments
including diabetes.

Drugs: Mind-altering substances -- not to mention alcohol, tobacco and
classified drugs -- are widely available, even in rural areas.

Car crashes: Teenagers are disproportionately likely to be killed or
injured in road crashes. Even if you stop your son or daughter having
a car, they could die as passengers of a friend who loves to show off
at the wheel.

Copyright Western Mail & Echo Limited 2007

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  Rachel's Precaution Reporter offers news, views and practical
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  principle? Who is using precaution? Who is opposing precaution?

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  to know the arguments used by slaveholders.

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