May 19 2004
Greenpeace Applauds Decision for Avoidance Zone Around Poor Knights
Greenpeace has welcomed the news that the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has accepted the NZ Maritime Safety Authority’s proposal and has designated the Poor Knights a “mandatory area to be avoided”.
“This is a world first and we applaud the designation", said Carmen Gravatt, oceans campaigner on board the Rainbow Warrior in Auckland. “The Rainbow Warrior was there in 1996 when Greenpeace made a submission to the Minister of Conservation advocating for an oil tanker exclusion zone around the Poor Knights marine reserve. We are extremely pleased to hear about the decision by the IMO”.
The designation will mean that ships longer than 45 metres will have to stay 9.26 km off the coastline from Cape Brett to Bream Head. The Poor Knights Islan Marine Reserve has been close to the designated route regularly used by crude oil tankers travelling to the Marsden Point oil refinery from the north.
The route lies five nautical miles to the east of the Poor Knights Islands. Large crude oil tankers carry between 85,000 and 125,000 tonnes of crude oil. A disaster with one of these carriers would have been devastating for the area.