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Time to stop throwing stones in glass houses Jim

14 November 2006
Time to stop throwing stones in glass houses Jim

New Zealand could be leading the way in stopping bottom trawling in the South Pacific by imposing a ban on bottom trawling by its own ships, the Green Party says.

Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton has expressed concern over a move by the European Commission, Russia and South Korea to block a moratorium on bottom trawling at a Regional Fisheries Management Organisation for the South Pacific meeting in Hobart, Australia.

"While the Government should use all diplomatic means possible to protest opposition from Northern hemisphere countries to a bottom trawling moratorium in the South Pacific, it has the power to be leading by example," Fisheries Spokesperson Metiria Turei says.

"A large majority of the bottom trawling carried out in the Tasman and the South Pacific is done by New Zealand ships and stopping this would send a clear signal that we are serious about protecting our seas.

"I am shocked and appalled that these countries feel they should have the right to pillage the South Pacific, but while our own ships continue to pursue this method we really are just throwing stones in a glass house," Mrs Turei says.

"Only 10 days ago the world received a dire warning that fisheries stocks are on the verge of collapse, yet this prediction is being blithely ignored by everyone.

"Bottom trawling is a hugely damaging practice that destroys fragile ecosystems by effectively clear-felling ancient undersea coral forests. It must be stopped now."

ENDS

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