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Forest and Bird submission on Marine Reserves Bill


Forest and Bird submission on Marine Reserves Bill.

Forest and Bird will be handing over 'I Love Marine Reserve banners' from all over New Zealand and making a presentation to Parliament's Environment and Local Government committee on Thursday 15 May 2003 at 11.00am. The presentation will occur in Room G002 at Parliament.

Forest and Bird is campaigning to protect 20% of New Zealand's marine environment in marine reserves by 2020. Thousands of people from all over New Zealand have signed banners supporting marine reserves. Current government policy seeks to protect 10% of New Zealand's marine environment by 2010.

"Forest and Bird wants to protect 20% of New Zealand's marine environment by 2020. This goal would provide protection for part of the ocean while still allowing plenty of room for customary, recreational and commercial fishers. It's a fair deal," said Forest and Bird's Senior Researcher Barry Weeber.

"Current fishing practices are not only ruining pristine natural habitats, but ultimately threaten the viability of the industry itself. It's time to wake up," Mr Weeber said.

"New Zealand has protected well under 1% of the marine environment. Many New Zealanders want more marine reserves. This Bill offers the chance to achieve it," he said.

"Forest and Bird has been disappointed by the conduct of the Ministry of Fisheries. They have frustrated the Government's efforts to protect the marine environment. The Ministry's had its chance and been proven wanting. We hope the Bill will stop their efforts to delay progress on marine protection," he said.

NOTES:

The delivery of the banners to the committee will be striking and may provide an appropriate photo opportunity to accompany a story.

Forest and Bird has applied for five marine reserves: Pollen Island/Motu Manawa; Kaikoura; Te Matuku; Glenduan to Ataata Point in North Nelson; and Tuputeranga. Applications involve wide consultation and a detailed analysis of marine environment to be protected in the marine reserves along with any economic, social and cultural issues with the proposal.

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