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Govt moves on fisheries sustainability welcomed

7 December 2006 - Wellington

Forest & Bird media release for immediate use

Government moves on fisheries sustainability welcomed

Forest & Bird welcomed today’s announcement by the Minister of Fisheries Jim Anderton to strengthen the Fisheries Act to provide a more precautionary approach to ensure real sustainability of fisheries management in New Zealand.

The minister’s announcement fits well with the government’s stated intention of leading New Zealand towards a sustainable future. The proposed changes to the Fisheries Act will apply to an area of ocean which is 17 times larger than New Zealand’s land area.

“Many New Zealand fisheries are in serious trouble because the Fisheries Act has not delivered real sustainability” says Forest & Bird Conservation Advocate Kirstie Knowles. “The collapse of the orange roughy and west coast hoki fisheries are prime examples of what can happen when environmental sustainability measures are sacrificed for immediate short-term economic gain”.

The minister’s announcement today proposes a strengthening of the Fisheries Act so that in situations of uncertain or limited information and situations compromising the marine environment, decisions can be made that favour sustainable management of fish species and minimise the environmental effects of fishing on seabirds, marine mammals, and other non-target species.

Kirstie Knowles says “today’s announcement is a recognition that the precautionary approach to fisheries management is the only way we can ensure sustainability of our fisheries for future generations without compromising our unique natural heritage and species.”

ENDS


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