29 Jul 2012

Renewed controversy over Antarctic fishing

5:05 pm on 29 July 2012

There has renewed controversy over fishing in the Antarctic.

New Zealand is one of several nations that catch the 1.7 metre Ross Sea toothfish, mainly for export to the United States.

A documentary called The Last Ocean is screening at this year's film festival, calling for a halt to this fishing.

Stuart Prior helped New Zealand negotiate an Antarctic fishing agreement with other nations to deal with the threat of unregulated fishing there anyway.

He is quoted in the film as saying evidence that came to light after fishing began proves it is an environmental threat, and should be stopped.

But the Seafood Industry Council, rejects the film's criticism, saying large parts of the Ross Sea are closed to fishing anyway.

It says it supports conservation, and its boats regularly catch less than their entitlement.