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Save Pacific Ocean's shrinking tuna fish stocks

10 December 2008

Save Pacific Ocean's shrinking tuna fish stocks: Greens

The Green Party is calling on the Fisheries Minister to support the Parties to Nauru Agreement and protect the dwindling tuna fisheries in the high seas of the Pacific.

A New Zealand delegation is attending the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission meeting in Korea this week to discuss - with other Pacific nations - measures to protect Pacific fisheries resources.

At the October meeting, New Zealand was the only country to oppose measures to prevent collapse of the fishing stocks, Green Party Fisheries Spokesperson Metiria Turei says.

Mrs Turei calls on the Minister to reverse New Zealand's previous decision and act as a responsible conservation steward in our own Pacific backyard.

"The new Minister should take the Pacific nations' concerns seriously at this weeks meeting. The sustainability of tuna fish stocks is at very serious risk unless urgent and immediate action is taken.

"New Zealand should stand in solidarity alongside our Pacific neighbours in supporting strong regional management.

"Pacific nations are calling for the closure of Pacific high seas to fishing and tightening management rules. The long term interests of New Zealand fishing companies will be undermined if those fish stocks collapse because the New Zealand Government didn't change its stance," Mrs Turei says.

"The new minister of Fisheries has an opportunity to make a strong stand for both the environment and for our Pacific neighbours."

ENDS

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