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Kaikoura marine protection a good first step

Kaikoura marine protection a good first step


WWF–New Zealand welcomed the announcement of marine protection for Kaikoura today.

“This is the type of protection we need to see more of to help protect New Zealand oceans and the animals that live there,” WWF-New Zealand Executive Director Chris Howe.

"This package will not only help protect wildlife but it will benefit people and the economy. Looking after our environment brings term long-term economic benefits and it is great to see that approach being taken here.

“This package should be complemented by an end to oil exploration off the Kaikoura coast. It would be a tragedy to see all this good work, and the local economy put at risk by an oil spill.

"There also needs to be systematic marine protection developed across New Zealand’s oceans, and we call on the Government to urgently progress the marine protected areas legislation that was proposed last August.

“This legislation is critical for looking after our oceans and needs to be a priority for this Government and whoever is in power for the next term.

“To make this legislation effective it must be followed urgently by a comprehensive plan for setting up a network of protected areas in our oceans, and for dealing with our marine environment as a whole.

“As a country we need to be clear on where we want protection, where we can fish and what other type of activities will be allowed. Let’s do this once and let’s do it well. New Zealand’s oceans deserve it.

“A comprehensive plan would also help New Zealand reach the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity targets, which we have signed up to, of protecting 10% of our ocean by 2020. Around 0.5% of New Zealand oceans are currently protected and this issue needs to be addressed urgently.

“Any comprehensive marine plan also needs to include setting aside our most ecologically important marine habitats and this should include creating a Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary. Protecting this nearly pristine area, home to an amazing array of marine life, would be a significant step in global marine conservation.

Ends

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