The government’s vision to protect New Zealand’s marine ecosystems and fisheries
BROOK SABIN / Tips
Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Minister David Parker said a multi-agency approach to protect New Zealand’s marine ecosystems and fisheries is replacing the fragmented marine management system. (File photo)
Cabinet Minister David Parker announced a multi-agency approach to protect New Zealand’s marine ecosystems and fisheries.
At the annual Forest & Bird NZ conference on Saturday, Parker, who owns the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries portfolios, said the challenges facing New Zealand’s oceans are complex.
“We need to respond to increasing and cumulative pressures on the marine environment and improve environmental performance, including addressing the depletion of marine life and impacts on seabed habitat. “
The newly created Oceans Secretariat, made up of officials from the Department of Conservation, the Ministry of Primary Industries and the Ministry of the Environment, would lead the long-term ecosystem-focused project. Other organizations would participate as needed.
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New Zealand’s current marine management system was too fragmented, he said.
“Oceans and coasts are central to the well-being and prosperity of New Zealanders. Most of us live near the coast and the sea is an important part of our national identity. It has immense cultural value and has provided kaimoana and fun for as long as people have lived here.
Examining the role of fisheries would be central to the larger picture of the sustainability and health of the oceans.
Fishing was an important sector, which provided livelihoods for many people, but serious change was needed, he said.
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“Significant reform of the fisheries system is needed to achieve the vision for the oceans. A key element of this reform is to make commercial fishing more sustainable, productive and inclusive. “
Legislative changes introducing more cameras on commercial fishing vessels and protections to manage the Hauraki Gulf were a good start, he said.