Why is information on high grading, bycatch and dumping often withheld by Fisheries New Zealand or its predecessors?
Embarrassment. In 2014 fisheries officials discussed the merits of releasing or not releasing damning evidence of illegal and wasteful practices by commercial fishers. They discussed the potential backlash if the evidence was withheld by the Ministry and later discovered and made public. The 2016 report by Michael Heron QC details this discussion in relation to several investigations that found serious incidents of illegal behaviour.