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ECO Comments Misplaced, says Paua Industry

19 May 2006

ECO Comments Misplaced, says Paua Industry

The Chairman of the Paua Industry Council says that ECO's latest broad
brush attack on the fishing industry is misplaced as is Cath Wallace's
support of the Department of Conservation's efforts in marine
protection.

"The vast majority of fishing does not damage the marine ecosystem," Ed
Arron said. "The damage is from the effects of land based activities
and neither ECO or DOC seem willing to either accept this or do anything about it.

"For the paua industry this is hugely frustrating as sediment derived
from inappropriate land use smothers the fragile pick coralline algae
that is required by paua to settle from their planktonic stage after
breeding.

"The same choking silt that inhibits the successful breeding of paua
also adversely impacts on their food which is seaweed."

A recent workshop held by NIWA on the effects of land-based activities
on the coastal environment described just how fragile marine foundation
species such as seaweeds were and it was a wake up call for everyone
concerned with the health of our seas said Mr Arron.

The workshop was clear that fishing was not the problem and nor were
marine reserves the solution. Marine reserves do not stop pollution or
sedimentation and are just as adversely affected as non protected areas.

"Central government and regional councils must get serious about run-off
and attack the problem at its source. This continuing attack on fishing
and the premise that marine reserves will save the seas is absolute clap
trap and its time the policy makers and other bureaucrats woke up to
this and looked at the real threats to our marine environment.

"The fact that MFish got the extra funding to implement the MPA strategy rather than DOC is testament to the common sense approach being taken by the new Fisheries minister Mr. Anderton" Mr Arron said.

Ends

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