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Nuggets not large enough

31 March 2005 – Dunedin

Nuggets not large enough

DOC should have been braver and proposed a bigger marine reserve at the Nuggets according to the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society.

Sue Maturin, the Society’s Southern Conservation officer said “DOC had plenty of public support for a meaningful reserve. More than 500 people sent DOC’s conservator, Jeff Connell, postcards calling for the reserve to include Campbell Reef to Cannibal Bay and to go further offshore.”

However, the new proposal is significantly smaller than the original 1992 proposal.

“DOC knows it’s proposal will not protect the full range of biodiversity at the Nuggets. They also know that they’ve left out the best areas for the non-fishing public and families to enjoy live fish and experience the benefits of the marine reserve.”

The latest Nuggets proposal will contribute little towards the government’s goal of protecting 10% of New Zealand’s EEZ.

Australia’s no take marine reserves or sanctuaries cover nearly 3 percent of their EEZ while New Zealand’s marine reserves cover just 0.26% of our EEZ. New Zealand has a long way to go. Australia has done much more than we have.”

“The marine biodiversity at the Nuggets is nationally important. Several large water masses meet and swirl around the Nuggets to provide rich feeding grounds for seabirds including penguins and albatrosses. The cold fresh waters of the Clutha meet the Southland current creating a special biodiversity not found elsewhere on the Catlins coast. If we want to know what is going on at sea we need to restore the large fish. They need more protected habitat.” Sue Maturin said.

“The proposed boundaries do not make ecological sense and will limit public opportunities to see for themselves the results of removing fishing.”

ENDS

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