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New approach for Great Barrier marine protection

16 May 2008

New approach for Great Barrier marine protection

Conservation Minister Steve Chadwick today announced a new approach to marine protection for Great Barrier Island.

“The announcement yesterday by the Fisheries Minister that he has declined a marine reserve application for Great Barrier is not the end for marine protection in this area. In fact, it is the beginning of an exciting new process for developing a comprehensive network of marine protected areas,” Steve Chadwick said.

“I am obviously disappointed that this will delay the establishment of marine protected areas, but the government is committed to moving forward quickly on this issue.

“Since a marine reserve was first proposed back in 1994, this government has developed a new approach to marine protection. The Marine Protected Areas Policy, announced in 2005, replaces a fragmented and ad hoc approach to marine protection, with a more strategic and comprehensive one.

“This means we can now address the wider issues about marine management of concern to the Great Barrier community. A community forum will be tasked with developing a package of different levels of protection around the island.

“In my meeting with Ngati Rehua, they expressed a strong concern about the need for sustenance fishing in all weather conditions, and this was difficult to accommodate within the previous application.

“The new approach will address this issue, while still providing for marine reserves and other measures to safe-guard the species and ecosystems that make the Great Barrier such a special place.”

ENDS

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