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Ross Sea Accord A Win-Win for NZ

Associate Foreign Affairs Spokesperson

30 October 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT

Ross Sea Accord A Win-Win for NZ

News that New Zealand and the United States have come to consensus over fishing in the Ross Sea should ensure plans to establish the world’s largest marine reserve get the green light, Labour’s Associate Foreign Affairs spokesperson Maryan Street says.

"Arriving at an accord over the territory in this pristine environment to be protected from exploitation is a much more mature and cooperative result than having no agreement and therefore no protection.

"The decision-making processes of the governing body, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), require agreement, hence If there is no agreement, there is no protection and anybody can swoop in to deplete fish stocks and ruin the environment.

“In positioning New Zealand to protect fisheries’ interests worth $20 million a year, National was prepared to sacrifice our ability to develop wider economic interests in promoting New Zealand (and Christchurch in particular) as the gateway to Antarctica - something that contributed around $288 million to the economy this year.

“The new accommodation allows for some fishing in certain areas while banning it completely in a ‘no-take’ zone. It provides an opportunity to fully utilise Christchurch as a logistic supply, science and learning, and tourism centre, focussed on our unique link with the Ross Sea and Antarctica.

“At the same time it upholds New Zealand’s reputation as a staunch defender of Antarctica in its natural state, free from exploitation.

“As New Zealand’s CCAMLR commissioner, Carolyn Schwalger, says - the outcome is a ‘very good balance between conservation and sustainable fishing’,” said Maryan Street.



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