Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


International agreement on protecting deep seas

Hon Jim Anderton


Minister of Agriculture, Minister for Biosecurity
Minister of Fisheries, Minister of Forestry
Associate Minister of Health
Associate Minister for Tertiary Education

9 September 2008 Media Statement

International agreement on protecting deep-sea species and habitats

New Zealand played a key role in achieving the successful agreement of guidelines on limiting the impact of deep water fishing on fragile fisheries and habitats, Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton said today.

Sixty nine countries, including New Zealand, participated in the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisations two-year negotiation process leading up to the acceptance of the guidelines last week. The successful negotiations were chaired by New Zealand Fisheries Ministry international manager Jane Willing.

She said the agreement lays out guidelines that fishing nations should use when operating in high-seas areas outside of the national waters, where many deep sea fisheries are located.

"As the agreement states, deep-sea areas need to be rigorously managed to identify and protect vulnerable ecosystems."

The agreement provides a range of guidance on the sustainable use of deep sea fisheries, which includes fishing nations assessing fishing by their fleets to determine its impact. Deep sea fishing should cease in areas where significant adverse impact on vulnerable ecosystems is taking place. Conservation and management measures should be put in place to achieve the sustainable use and long-term conservation of deep sea fish stocks. The guidelines will also outline steps for improving the information on the location and status of vulnerable deep sea ecosystems.

Jim Anderton said the New Zealand delegation was to the fore of the negotiations for the agreement.

"New Zealand is one of the few states that has practical experience of managing deep seas stocks. It was with this knowledge and experience that the delegation was able to ensure the agreed guidelines were workable.

"Our delegates' participation and influence in the agreement was considerable and showed the immense commitment we have made to the conservation of our own deep seas ecosystems."

In April 2007, New Zealand closed 17 areas within its Exclusive Economic Zone to deep sea bottom trawling, providing protection to an area of seabed habitat equal to 1.2 million square kilometres, or an area four times the landmass of New Zealand. This is the largest single marine protection initiative anywhere in the world and accounts for 32% of New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone.

--

Background

The FAO

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Serving both developed and developing countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and debate policy. FAO is also a source of knowledge and information. The FAO helps developing countries and countries in transition modernize and improve agriculture, fisheries and forestry practices and ensure good nutrition for all.

FAO invited all its 191 members to participate in the Technical Consultation, which was attended by 69 countries, the European Community and the Faroe Islands, as well as observers from 14 intergovernmental and international non-governmental organizations.

For more information visit www.fao.org

Deepwater fish and habitats

Many deep sea fish species grow slowly, reach sexual maturity late, and may not always reproduce every year. As a result they have low resilience to intensive fishing, and recovery from over fishing can take generations.

Deep sea fishing in the high seas also raises concerns about other vulnerable species, such as delicate cold water corals and sponges; fragile sea-bottom seep and vent habitats that contain species found nowhere else, and specific features like underwater seamounts that are often home to sensitive species.

Because deep sea fishing is a relatively new activity and requires considerable resources in terms of investment and technology, few countries have so far developed policies and plans specifically related to managing it, even in their own waters.

New Zealand's contribution to conserving vulnerable deep sea ecosystems

New Zealand implemented a number of measures on 1st May 2008 to better manage the environmental impact of bottom trawling by New Zealand fishers on the high seas. New Zealand agreed to implement a set of interim conservation and management measures during negotiations to form the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO).

The measures are designed to ensure that bottom trawling activity does not increase from current levels and that significant adverse impact on "vulnerable marine ecosystems" (VMEs) such as seamounts and deepwater coral forests are avoided.

The measures that will be taken by New Zealand in the proposed SRFMO area are:
Limiting bottom trawling to areas that were fished between 2002 and 2006;
Prohibiting bottom trawling in any new areas;
Closing around 112,000 square kilometres of previously fished high seas area to bottom trawling;
Imposing restrictions on bottom trawling in around 82,000 square kilometres with a "move-on rule"; and
Requiring all fishing vessels to carry at least one Ministry of Fisheries (MFish) observer.

In 2010 all measures will be reviewed to assess their practicality and effectiveness and to ensure they are consistent with any SPRFMO measures or agreements that may be coming into force by that time.

For more information visit www.fish.govt.nz


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Digital Evolution: Scoop Independent News Launches "Operation Chrysalis"

From today Scoop is beginning a process of public consultation with the political, business and civil society groups it has served for the past 15 and a half years.

"It is hoped that in time - with new leadership and increased community engagement - the chrysalis will incubate a new kind of Scoop, one which can sustainably continue Scoop's Mission 'to be an agent of positive change'", says Scoop Founder, Editor and Publisher Alastair Thompson.

"As big publishing shrivels, public participation in contributing and spreading news has grown. Scoop has evolved with this wave by providing an independent platform, committed to upholding democracy, providing a voice to all, and providing the public easy access to information about decisions which affect them." More>>

 

Parliament Adjourns:

Greens: CAA Airport Door Report Conflicts With Brownlee’s Claims

The heavily redacted report into the incident shows conflicting versions of events as told by Gerry Brownlee and the Christchurch airport security staff. The report disputes Brownlee’s claim that he was allowed through, and states that he instead pushed his way through. More>>

ALSO:

TAIC: Final Report On Grounding Of MV Rena

Factors that directly contributed to the grounding included the crew:
- not following standard good practice for planning and executing the voyage
- not following standard good practice for navigation watchkeeping
- not following standard good practice when taking over control of the ship. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On The Pakistan Schoolchildren Killings

The slaughter of the children in Pakistan is incomprehensibly awful. On the side, it has thrown a spotlight onto something that’s become a pop cultural meme. Fans of the Homeland TV series will be well aware of the collusion between sections of the Pakistan military/security establishment on one hand and sections of the Taliban of the other… More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Satire:
The Politician’s Song

am a perfect picture of the modern politic-i-an:
I don’t precisely have a plan so much as an ambition;
‘Say what will sound most pleasant to the public’ is my main dictum:
And when in doubt attack someone who already is a victim More>>

ALSO:

Flight: Review Into Phillip Smith’s Escape Submitted To Government

The review follows an earlier operational review by the Department of Corrections and interim measures put in place by the Department shortly after prisoner Smith’s escape, and will inform the Government Inquiry currently underway. More>>

ALSO:

Intelligence: Inspector-General Accepts Apology For Leak Of Report

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August 2011 to media prior to its publication. The Inspector-General will not take the matter any further. More>>

ALSO:

Drink: Alcohol Advertising Report Released

The report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship has been released today, with Ministers noting that further work will be required on the feasibility and impact of the proposals. More>>

ALSO:

Other Report:

Leaked Cabinet Papers: Treasury Calls For Health Cuts

Leaked Cabinet papers that show that Government has been advised to cut the health budget by around $200 million is ringing alarm bells throughout the nursing and midwifery community. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news