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Marine Reserves Should Be Expanded

Marine Reserves Should Be Expanded, Auckland City Council¡¦s Planning And Regulatory Committee Recommends

The purpose of marine reserves should be expanded and there should be more protected areas, Auckland City Council¡¦s Planning and Regulatory Committee recommends.

In a submission to a Department of Conservation Marine Reserves Act review, Committee chairperson Councillor Juliet Yates says more reserves are needed to ensure the preservation of representative samples of all marine ecosystems.

¡§This is particularly important for the council because it has a huge coastline and responsibility for islands in the harbour and gulf,¡¨ she said. ¡§The Marine Reserves Act currently enables reserves to be established for the protection of natural areas for scientific study and DOC is asking if this purpose should be expanded.¡¨

Mrs Yates says expansion raises serious questions about the ecological importance of the sea compared with the land, including whether there should be equivalent protection.

¡§Are some Resource Management Act purposes and principles applicable to ocean resources, should there be ¡¥no go¡¦ or ¡¥no take¡¦ areas set aside exclusively for scientific study, is there a need for recreational marine reserves in densely populated areas where there are competing or conflicting uses in coastal waters? These are among the issues deserving scrutiny.¡¨

Mrs Yates says the interface between land and sea should be recognised to enable integrated management where needed. An example would be a wetland where native freshwater fish swim down to the sea and later return as part of their lifecycle.

She adds that consultation similar to that provided for under the Resource Management Act should be followed in considering changes to the Marine Reserves Act and any amendment should recognise Treaty principles in the same way.

ENDS

For further information, please contact:
„h Councillor Juliet Yates, tel: 528 0581 or 025 289 0623.

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