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Aotearoa Fisheries encourages inclusive sanctuary decisions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

30 September 2015

Aotearoa Fisheries encourages inclusive sanctuary decisions

New Zealand’s largest Maori-owned fishing group, Aotearoa Fisheries, understands the creation of a new marine sanctuary in the Kermadec region, but hopes for greater engagement with industry on future sanctuaries.

Prime Minister John Key yesterday announced the sanctuary, which spans 620,000 sq km, in an address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

The sanctuary is located about 1000km north-east of New Zealand and is twice the size of New Zealand’s land mass.

Aotearoa Fisheries CEO Carl Carrington says he understands the Government’s move to safeguard one of the world’s most unique ecosystems.

“Protecting the health of our oceans is essential for future generations, and it’s a value we also share as kaitiaki, or guardians, of this environment for everyone.”

However, Aotearoa Fisheries say that while there are only a few, due fair compensation needs to be given to those whose livelihoods are affected. Especially given that some businesses that surface long line in the area under the Quota Management System have no impact on the benthic environment or bio-diversity.

“While Aotearoa Fisheries does not own quota or fish in this region, we do sympathise with those that are affected and were not consulted. We’re hopeful that any future decisions made by the government involve robust science and fair consultation with those affected,” say Mr Carrington.

The seafood industry supported the establishment of a Benthic Protection Area (BPA) eight years ago which saw 1.2 million square kilometres, an area four times the landmass of New Zealand, protected from bottom trawling and dredging.

The Kermadec area is one of the most geologically diverse in the world, containing the world’s longest chain of submerged volcanoes and the second deepest ocean trench with a depth of 10 kilometres.

The sanctuary protects the Kermadec region from commercial fishing and aquaculture, recreational fishing, fishing related tourism and oil, gas and mineral prospecting, exploration and mining.

“A combination of a well-managed Quota Management System, responsive fisheries management decisions and the implementation of protection areas where appropriate can deliver the best possible conservation and economic balance for all New Zealanders,” says Mr Carrington.

Ends

About Aotearoa Fisheries Limited

Aotearoa Fisheries is the largest Maori-owned fisheries company in Aotearoa / New Zealand. Our vision is to be the key investment vehicle of choice for Iwi in the fishing industry, to maximise the value of Maori fisheries assets and to ensure that we are a strong seafood business delivering growth in shareholder wealth to Iwi. Aotearoa Fisheries business comprises of AFL Inshore (trading as Moana Pacific Fisheries and OPC Fish and Lobster), AFL Aquaculture (Pacific Marine Farms and Kia Ora Seafoods) and Prepared Foods Limited. In addition, Aotearoa Fisheries owns 50% of Sealord Group Limited.


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