Correcting the media / by Francisco Blaha

When you work in Fisheries you see plenty of "horrors" more than "errors" in the press. I always find it intriguing that if in any other area of work, if you say something wrong or do not check your sources, you not doing your job right and get done, fired, demoted and so on. The press seems to get away without much... I was saddened to read an article from one of my favourites media outlets Radio NZ (RNZ) getting it very wrong.

RNZ is a well-respected media for fisheries news in the Pacific, and on this occasion, it fell below standard

In an article "Kiribati yellow carded over fishing practice"  (a fact I blogged about it here) they started right... but then they say:

" Kiribati is now only one step away from a 'red card', which would mean fish caught within its waters would be banned in the European Union."

Wrong: A "red card" which means that the country is declared a "Non-Cooperating "country"   implies that fish caught in the Kiribati-flagged vessel cannot be imported into the EU under the principles of the EU IIU regulation 1005/2008. However, as Kiribati is not authorised to export fish and fishery products to the EU since its Sanitary Competent Authority is not recognised as equivalent to those of the EU member states. Hence, even if they were to move to red, the impact would be nil since at the present there is no direct fisheries trade in between Kiribati and the EU.

"Papua New Guinea has a 'red card' and fish caught in its waters is banned from being sold in the EU"

Very Wrng: PNG had a yellow card that was lifted in October 2015. Trade in between PNG (that is authorised from the sanitary perspective) and the EU was never stopped.

I wrote to then to correct them, not because I think I'm pedantic about the true... is just that is not right. So if you get to see this type of mistakes in your media... drop them a line and correct the record.