Are Fish OK?
PITA PARAONE MP
7 November 2006
Are Fish OK?
New Zealand First is concerned that the problem of over-fishing and depletion of fish stocks is not being taken seriously enough in light of a recent scientific survey warning of the total loss of wild seafood this century.
“New Zealand’s Quota Management System and our marine reserves and protected areas are the kinds of structures identified in the report as necessary for the protection of fisheries, and in that regard we’re doing the right things,” said Fisheries spokesperson Pita Paraone.
“However there is no room for complacency, and we are still a long way from sustainability and conservation. Our experiences with orange roughy and hoki are evidence that we don’t always get it right, marine reserves can only be really effective when they enjoy strong local and community support
“Another concern is that if stocks worldwide are declining, then our fish stocks will become more susceptible to poaching, which raises the issue of policing and protection. I would suggest that we’re fighting a losing battle on that front at the moment, and we need to have an effective strategy that will combat further illegal fishing in our waters. That’s going to mean more coastal patrols and a lot more fisheries officers.
“It’s also imperative that we stop using fishing methods that destroy ecosystems. Bottom trawling has been identified as a major danger to biodiversity in our oceans, as it just destroys everything in its path. We can no longer accept that somehow the ecosystem can come back and replenish from that. The evidence is undeniable that it cannot.
“I urge the Government to prioritise the development of the Oceans Policy, incorporating the implications of current science on fisheries into a framework that will protect and preserve our fisheries resource for future generations,” said Mr Paraone.