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Sustainable Hoki - A Benefit To New Zealand

MEDIA RELEASE 19 September 2007

Sustainable Hoki - A Benefit To New Zealand

Te Ohu Kaimoana, the Maori Fisheries Trust, said today that New Zealanders should be pleased to have its hoki fishery re-certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council and the environmental tick of good management will continue to bring benefits to this country.

Te Ohu Kaimoana Chief Executive Peter Douglas said the hard-won environmental gong has been achieved through sound fisheries management, including making tough decisions for the long-term viability of this economically important fishery.

"Hoki is an important species to the economic well-being of the New Zealand fishing industry as well as Maori. We take our responsibilities as kaitiaki very seriously. Maori have been fishing for a thousand years and we will be fishing for another thousand years."

Since it was last certified as sustainable five years ago by the Council, the industry has made significant changes to the way it manages the hoki fishery. Nobody has more at stake to ensure a sustainable fishery than those in the industry who are investing millions of dollars in sustainability measures for long-term viability."

The industry's commitment to sustainability was not in question, Mr Douglas said. Among many other initiatives, cutting catches, locking up more than 30 percent of New Zealand's EEZ - more than four times the terrestrial size of New Zealand - into no-trawl zones and working to protect seabirds from fishing operations are just three examples of this commitment, he said.

Mr Douglas said it is a concern to Maori investment that the Forest and Bird Society continues to pour cold water on the achievement and to undermine the New Zealand fishing industry. "Sustainable hoki is a benefit to the New Zealand economy and consumers can take comfort in the very fact that this fishery is being well managed."

ENDS

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