An informal canvas of public opinions by a video crew on the streets of Kapiti and Lower Hutt found support for sustainable fishing on seamounts, rather than the total ban of bottom trawling proposed by anti-fishing campaigners.
Sealord commissioned an independent camera crew to ask opinions of anyone they came across over a few hours on the streets and coastlines of Kapiti and Wellington.
Sealord CEO Doug Paulin said the frank footage proves that people are very thoughtful and considered about sustainable commercial fishing.
“When you take the time to talk to them about commercial fishing, the public backs a balanced approach. They acknowledged that the nation will always catch, eat and export fish, but they want it done sustainably.
“There was general support for Sealord’s proposal to trawl on only 11% of seamounts. People thought it was a fair and balanced approach.
“When they learned Sealord could catch some of the nation’s favourite fish from only 11% of seamounts, they said that it matched their understanding of sustainability,” says Paulin.
In the on-camera impromptu conversations, people were asked whether they ate fish, went fishing, and what they thought about commercial fishing. Sealord’s Seamounts Count proposal was briefly outlined and they were asked to comment on it.
The result is a vox pop video of a diverse and colourful array of real-world opinions, knowledge and attitudes about fish and the fishing industry.
“It’s a warts-and-all assessment from everyday people. There’s misunderstanding and lack of knowledge about fishing. Some still thought commercial fishing was a free-for-all, so were surprised we suggested the 11% limit and are ready to make it happen,” Paulin says.
Forty people were approached by interviewers over a few hours and 26 agreed to speak on camera. Of those 26, 16 (62%) featured in the video. Interviews were excluded where comments were similar or ambiguous.
The video can be found below: