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Fiordland Marine Conservation Strategy accepted

Fiordland Marine Conservation Strategy accepted

The Government has endorsed the management approach in the Fiordland Marine Conservation Strategy, developed by the community group Guardians of Fiordland's Fisheries and Marine Environment.

Fisheries Minister Pete Hodgson and Environment Minister Marian Hobbs received the strategy from the Guardians in September. They announced today the formation of an investigative group of officials to report on the most effective means to implement it.

The strategy aims for sustainable management of the Fiordland marine environment, focussing on fisheries depletion, areas of special significance, risks to the marine environment and the expression of kaitiakitanga.

"We all know Fiordland is magnificent and unique," Mr Hodgson said. "But its extraordinary marine environment is also vulnerable. The Government welcomes the forethought and determination shown by the Guardians in developing this strategy. They have looked ahead and seen that co-ordinated and integrated management is needed to ensure Fiordland's marine resources are sustained."

The Guardians are seeking special legislation to implement the strategy. Officials will look at whether legislation is the best mechanism for implementation and are due to report to ministers by April next year.

The work will be led by the Ministry for the Environment, in cooperation with the Department of Conservation, the Ministry of Fisheries, the Maritime Safety Authority, Environment Southland, the Guardians, Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu and other agencies and organisations as necessary.

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