Marlin boycott gains support

A bid to ban marlin from restaurant menus in New Zealand is gaining momentum, with a leading recreational fishing group adding its weight to the calls.

New Zealand's oldest fishing club, the Bay of Islands Swordfish Club, started the nationwide campaign to help protect declining stocks of the fish, which it says are being ravaged by commercial fishing.

It has been joined by the the New Zealand Sport Fishing Council, which at its annual meeting backed a move to urged consumers not to buy marlin products and tell retailers and restaurants to take it off their menus.

On Friday, President Barack Obama signed into law the Billfish Conservation Act, which bans imports of all billfish, including marlin, into the United States.

In 1988, the Bay of Islands Swordfish Club was instrumental in setting up a memorandum of understanding under which commercial fishing companies agreed not to catch marlin in New Zealand waters.

But marlin caught outside New Zealand waters can still be sold here.

The Sport Fishing Council and the Bay of Islands Swordfish Club say taking marlin off the menu will send a message to businesses and the Government that anglers are serious about protecting the fish.

The Duke of Marlborough Hotel in Russell has already backed the boycott.

- APNZ

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