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Marine Reserves Banners Presented to PM

Saturday 8 June 2002 - World Oceans Day

Forest and Bird will present its "I love marine reserves" banners to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Conservation at the Waitemata Plaza, Viaduct Basin, Auckland at 2 PM on World Oceans Day, June 8.

"We are thrilled with the public's response to our campaign," says Eric Pyle, Forest and Bird's Conservation Manager. "We even had groups make their own banners and send them to us full of signatures."

Around 60 banners have been circulating around the country over the last 6 months. The public has been asked to sign the banners to show their support for creating more marine reserves. Thousands of people have signed the banners and children have decorated many of the banners.

"The overwhelmingly positive public response to this campaign shows that New Zealanders want to see more marine reserves", says Mr Pyle. "The clear message from this campaign is for the Government to get on and create more marine reserves."

"We welcome recent decisions by the Minister of Conservation, Sandra Lee, to approve a marine reserve at Te Matuku on Waiheke Island and Wellington's South Coast. We now look forward to the Minister of Fisheries, Pete Hodgson, giving his concurrence so that these reserves can become a reality."

"Forest and Bird welcomes moves by the Government to amend the Marine Reserves Act. These changes are long overdue to create an improved and expanded process for creating marine reserves."

"Marine Reserves are a vital part of protecting the marine environment. But less than 1% of New Zealand's coast is covered by marine reserves. We need more of them."

Marine reserves benefit fish stocks and lead to an overall increase in fish numbers in the sea. "Everyone wins with marine reserves; fishers, people wanting to swim with lots of fish in the sea, and conservationists," says Mr Pyle.


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