How is a democratic society supposed to function when lobbying organisations, acting on behalf of a significant segment of society, decide they can no longer perform this important role?
How do you effect change when organisations such as Fish & Game start worrying more about where their funding is coming from than about the risks to our food chain and the lives of hunters and fishermen?
Kathy White, Waikato Regional Councillor for Taupo-Rotorua and the Environmental and Services Performance Committee Chair.
“Fish and Game’s” primary duty
By Tony Orman
I’m the author of some trout fishing books and have held a Fish and Game trout fishing licence for just on 70 seasons. I consider Fish and Game’s first duty is to its licence holders, i.e. the trout fishing public.
I realise under the act of parliament transforming the old acclimatisation societies to today’s fish and game councils that for some strange reason, the new councils’ first obligation was to the Minister of Conservation in other words the Department of Conservation.
Frankly the apparent support by Fish and Game NZ and its then CEO for this political hamstring was a very dumb, very stupid move.
Trout getting poisoned
Fish and Game have a moral obligation first and foremost to the trout resource and its shareholders, i.e. licence holder anglers.
The recent debate over trout eating mice dying of 1080, or for that matter brodifacoum, and thereby building up toxic residues have focused entirely on the health of anglers eating trout.
Fish and Game should be more worried about the effect of toxin residues on the aquatic ecosystem and trout.
Videos of post-1080 drops show eels eating toxic carcasses and koura taking baits to their lure. Trout can eat eels and vice-a-versa and trout eat koura. Toxins often have an endocrine disruptor trait which renders males infertile.
If trout have toxic residues what is their effect on natural spawning of the fish.
Despite denials by DOC, the scientific research is so sketchy or non-existent or lacking in credibility. An independent assessment of pro-1080 research by Quinn and Pat Whiting O’Keefe showed the commissioned paid-for science to be biased and seriously flawed.
Fish and Game cannot sweep the 1080 issue under the carpet. To do so is short-sighted, morally wrong and disloyal to its licence holders.
Teaching kids 1080 is good
The brainwashing of youngsters in schools is very real and has been going on for decades. My two daughters were told by their primary school teacher 40 years ago that deer were pests and damaging the vegetation.
The teacher was a Forest and Bird Society member.
Sixteen years ago, in 2001, a paper titled Introduced wildlife in New Zealand: A survey of general public views. (Landcare Research Series No. 23, Lincoln, New Zealand.) showed 81% favoured deer being managed as a resource.
The scientist then wrote that while acknowledging the use of 1080 caused considerable public concern and even active resistance, the opposition could be dismissed.
In his opinion, the public did have the same knowledge, facts or training as most wildlife professionals do and in some cases were influenced by superficial knowledge, misconceptions, alarmist claims and polarised views.
The results of the survey clearly perturbed the author scientist. He lamented the “failure” to educate people and highlighted the importance of also targeting appropriate environmental education within the school curriculum said the Landcare Research paper.
In other words, educate or brainwash youngsters at school when they are impressionable, I find this repugnant and irresponsible by a so-called professional body such as Landcare Research.
More recently I learned of a DOC employee in the central North Island who goes around schools telling them of “evil” introduced animals and almost certainly the need for cruel poisons.
The DOC woman apparently believes in organic farming but paradoxically supports ecosystem poisons.
(To read “What’s Up Doc 1”, scroll down to December 4.)