Parliament

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

 

Murray McCully Speech at Our Oceans Conference Washington DC

Remarks by the New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon Murray McCully at US Secretary of State John Kerry’s Our Oceans Conference, 16-17 June, 2014, Washington D.C.

Secretary of State John Kerry

I am delighted to be here - thank you for inviting me.

I well recall our first telephone conversation soon after your confirmation. We spoke of the urgent need to focus the debate and galvanise actions, to combat the rapid decline in global fish stocks, sea level rise, ocean acidification and the loss of biodiversity.

We thank you for your clear and energetic leadership in organising this Conference, the results of which we hope will also help shape the debate at the UN Small Islands Developing States Conference in Samoa in September.

For my country, New Zealand, these efforts have added urgency.

We are an island nation - in New Zealand you can never be more than 75 miles from the coast - and New Zealanders identify strongly with the ocean.

Our EEZ is roughly 15 times larger than our land area and while we might be better known for our agriculture, fisheries are our fourth largest export.

Our economy relies heavily on the oceans through fisheries, aquaculture and tourism, and New Zealanders place a high value on recreational access to the ocean.

My country pioneered a rights based fisheries management system that is heavily grounded in fisheries science and has ensured that our fisheries are both sustainable and profitable.

We recognise the vital importance of marine protected areas, if we are to achieve national and international conservation goals.

Our first no take reserve was established in 1975 and we now have 30 reserves to help protect our marine environment.

New Zealand's own neighbourhood is defined by the Pacific Ocean.

It connects us to the many small island states that make up our region for whom the ocean is their major economic resource, as well as being central to their culture and heritage.

Over 7.4 per cent of New Zealanders identify as being of Pasifika descent. Over 60 per cent of our aid budget is spent in our region, giving priority to projects targeting economic and environmental sustainability, like our current drive to convert the region to renewable electricity.

The Western and Central Pacific Ocean is home to the world's last relatively healthy tuna stocks - and the bulk of the fishing takes place in the zones of Pacific Island states.

These resources are increasingly under pressure as tuna stocks elsewhere become harder to access. That presents both a challenge and an opportunity for Pacific nations.

The challenge is that the fleets of Asia, the Americas and Europe are now focused on these resources - and fishing activity is already at levels where sustainability of some stocks is under threat.

Last year, between US $4 billion and $5 billion of tuna was harvested in Pacific waters. Yet less than 10 per cent of that value made its way back to Pacific nations - the owners of the resource. That can only mean that some of the wealthiest countries on the planet are profiting at the expense of some of the poorest.

The opportunity and the challenge for Pacific nations is to leverage the competition for this resource in a way that maximises their long-term returns without compromising the long-term sustainability of the fishery.

This means building and strengthening fisheries management regimes, tackling the problems of overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and improving monitoring and surveillance.

But it also means distant water fishing nations need to confront the entrenched interests, weak policy-making and sheer bureaucracy that allows the continuation of subsidies that promote overcapacity and overfishing and which in turn promote illegal and unreported fishing.

Finally, a brief commercial for a joint project between my country, New Zealand, and Secretary Kerry's country, the United States, to create a 1.34 million square kilometres, marine protected area in the Ross Sea of Antarctica, which includes a 1.25 million square kilometre no-take area.

Twice, our two countries have promoted our case before the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, using a great deal of research and scientific data into the Ross Sea ecosystem.

We have received the support of many nations and we have modified the proposal to take account of the concerns of others. In October of this year in Hobart we will try again.

To achieve success, we need a consensus of the 25 nations that are members of CCAMLR - encompassing the full spectrum of fishing, conservation and scientific interests.

And that is the harsh reality of the great challenge confronting our oceans. Progress that is real, sustainable and comprehensive can only be made if all of the affected nations and interests with all of their different motivations, sit together, face facts, talk constructively, and take hard decisions.

Which is why this Conference, and your leadership John Kerry, are so important.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Budget

It may seem like Oliver to be so bold as to ask the Finance Minister for more gruel – but what the Dickens, Steven Joyce… is this Budget really as good as it gets?

Supposedly, the public was going to receive significant rewards – an election year lolly scramble no less – for the eight years of belt tightening that they’ve endured, and for the rundown of essential public services.

Well, what Budget 2017 delivered instead in Education and in Health were allocations barely sufficient to maintain the current levels of service delivery More>>

Scoop Full Coverage: of Budget Announcements & Reaction
Latest: Scoop Search

 
 

Auditor-General Stands Down For Investigation: Gordon Campbell On (Not) Taking Responsibility

So Martin Matthews, our current Auditor-General wishes he could have detected “earlier” the fraud that occurred on his watch at the Ministry of Transport. Hmmm. But he could have detected it earlier, surely? That’s the point. More>>

ALSO:

NGOs Pleased: Govt To Halt Collection Of Client Data

Brenda Pilott, the chair of ComVoices and national manager of Social Service Providers Aotearoa, congratulates the government on its decision to call a halt to the collection of individual client data until the concerns of not-for-profit service providers have been worked through. More>>

ALSO:

Gosh: Blasphemy Law Repeal Struck Down

Chris Hipkins, the MP who tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to add our Blasphemy Law to the Statutes Repeal Bill, said this was a "sad day for freedom of speech, tolerance, and leadership". More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Navy’s Dealings With Fat Leonard, And Twin Peaks

At an official level, our “she’ll be right” attitude routinely spills over into a keen resentment of anyone who suggests the outcomes may be less than satisfactory… The Navy has now gone one step beyond. It won’t even ask itself whether it did a good job. More>>

ALSO:

NZDF: Fifth Rotation Of Troops Heads To Iraq

The fifth rotation of New Zealand Defence Force troops left today for a six-month mission training Iraqi soldiers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Demonising Of Iran

Will New Zealand still be willing to pursue its recent trade overtures to Iran, now that US President Donald Trump has used his speech in Riyadh to single out Iran as the main source of terrorism and instability in the Middle East? More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 

Opening The Election Supporters

 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election