19 Mar 2018

MPI accused of failing to protect hoiho penguins

From Morning Report, 6:16 am on 19 March 2018

The Ministry for Primary Industries is being accused of setting the bar dangerously low when assessing the impact of fishing on this country's most endangered seabirds. The accusation comes from Forest and Bird which says this is because it allows up to 200 years for populations to recover. This means that for endangered mainland yellow-eyed penguins, MPI's model last year allowed for 121 of them to be caught before it was deemed fishing was having a negative impact. This for the rarest penguin in the world, with an estimated population as low as 374 breeding pairs. MPI's Steve Halley told fisheries reporter Conan Young the model was only a guide and not a target.