23 Aug 2013

Commissioner wants assurances about eel review panel

6:35 am on 23 August 2013

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment wants assurances that experts appointed to review the status of longfin eels will be right for the job.

Dr Jan Wright was questioned by the Environment Select Committee about her report on the at-risk species, released in April.

She's recommended a moratorium on commercial fishing of longfins, and the setting up of an independent expert panel to review their status.

Dr Wright said it's important that the panel members are independent of the Ministry for Primary Industries - which issues quota for the longfin.

She said she will need assurances that the terms of reference, the membership of the panel and its processes are all appropriate.

Dr Wright said the longfin is especially important to Maori, for whom it's a taonga.