13 Sep 2013

Scientists review long-fin eels

9:33 pm on 13 September 2013

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Jan Wright, says she's satisfied with the independence and expertise of the scientists chosen to review the status of the long-fin eel fishery.

Dr Wright has recommended a moratorium on the commercial fishing of the long-fin species because of concerns that it may be on the way to extinction and the Ministry for Primary Industries, along with the Conservation Department, have convened an expert panel to investigate.

The Commissioner says the three scientists chosen, from Sweden, the United States, and New Zealand, are experts in their field, and she has no reservations about their selection.

Dr Wright says she wants the review to reach a conclusion on the sustainability of the long-fin population, and MPI has now adjusted the terms of reference to make that clear.

She says if the independent scientists find the long-fin eel is not at risk of extinction, and can continue to be sustainably fished, she will accept that finding.

The researchers who will make up the panel are Dr Alex Haro from the United States, Dr William Dekker from Sweden and Nokome Bentley, a New Zealand scientist.