NZFCF President Questions ETS Proposals

Memorandum

TO: Owen Symmans
Tom Clark

FROM: Doug Saunders-Loder

RE: Emissions Trading Scheme

DATE: 25th September 2009

Gentlemen,

Last week you released a memo regarding the Government’s position on the Emissions Trading Scheme. The level of detail has obviously been limited but I note from your memo that quite alarmingly, ‘FREE UNITS ARE TO BE ALLOCATED TO QMS QUOTAOWNERS ONLY’.

This proposal by Government must be rejected at all costs. It is clear that the bulk of emissions from within this Industry come from fishing vessels or other marine craft and as such we would have thought that any credits or free units would be distributed amongst them accordingly.

The operational sector of the NZ Fishing Industry includes fishing vessels within the deep water and inshore areas including trawlers, long-line, set-net, crayfish, paua, tuna troll and surface long-line vessels.

The Aquaculture industry requires the use of mechanical harvesters and barges which are all dependent on the use of liquid fossil fuels. Operationally the Industry is very energy intensive. The emissions are caused by the vessels and it is the vessels that bear the consequences of higher fuel costs.

The proposal that any free units are allocated to QMS quota owners only, desperately requires
revisiting.

There are a number of issues that need to be considered before Industry simply accepts such a model.
- Why should fishers pay additional emission costs but quota-owners receive the benefits?
- There is no guarantee that quota-owners will transfer any assistance to fishermen?
- The Crown still owns significant quota and will receive assistance needed by fishers.

Given the already exorbitant charges imposed by Government this windfall would be absolutely disastrous.
- A number of fishstocks remain outside the QMS eg; Albacore / Skipjack. Those fishers
receive no assistance.
- Aquaculture operators do so outside the QMS. They will receive no assistance.

If I have read this wrong then please tell me. If not, then please tell me, based on the fact that quota-owners will receive all of the benefits, where there are any incentives provided to the operational sector to reduce emissions?

I personally see this model as being a further cost to the fishermen who will inevitably be driven out of business when they should in fact, be investing in improved fuel efficiency measures.

In February SEAFIC submitted to the ‘Emissions Trading Scheme Review Committee’ on the Review of the Emissions Trading Scheme and Other Related Matters.

SEAFIC’s position at the time referred to and I quote;

a) Amendments need to be made to the Act to provide the fishing and aquaculture sectors with allocations of free units that give parity with other trade-exposed sectors.
b) The seafood processing sector must be able to offset the carbon costs imposed on the processing sector.

The overall thrust of our submission was that the ‘Fishing Industry’ should receive comparable support as other primary production sectors within NZ.
How could the Government have developed such a distorted view of our Industry’s wishes?

We cannot sit back and accept their present position.

Please confirm for me that SEAFIC will present the politicians and the Select Committee with a view that allocation of free units to quota-owners only is flawed and that it must be reviewed to satisfy those within our Industry that use the fuel and create the most emission.

Best regards,

Doug Saunders-Loder
President