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Ratification of Fisheries Agreement Supported

Ratification of High Seas Fisheries Agreement Supported

Forest and Bird today supported moves by Parliament to ratify the High Seas Fisheries Agreement and the FAO Fisheries Compliance Agreement.

Mr Weeber said these measures are contained in the Fisheries (No3) Bill which has yet to be passed by Parliament but key provisions have been opposed by the fishing industry.

"The fishing industry is showing its true colours by opposing the provisions in this Bill which bind New Zealand nationals as well as companies to New Zealand law."

Mr Weeber said Forest and Bird found it ironic that at the same time the industry was complaining about illegal toothfish fishing in the southern ocean they were opposing measures that could help control that activity.

"The recent New Zealand fishing industry activity on the Tasman Rise, off Tasmania, indicates that further controls are urgently required to reduce illegal or unregulated fishing.

Mr Weeber said the High Seas Fisheries Agreement is a major step forward in fisheries management.

"Its provisions include requirements on countries to take a precautionary approach and minimise the effects of fishing on non-target species."

Mr Weeber said the Society looked forward to these measures being applied within New Zealand's waters as well as on the high seas.

ENDS

Note: The Fisheries Bill (No 3) should not be confused with an earlier Fisheries Bill which was opposed by Forest and Bird and was passed through its final stages by Parliament under urgency last Saturday. That Bill contained provision for increased industry involvement in fisheries management at the expense of other interests and legalised the over-fishing of many fish stocks.

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