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Something Fishy With Moratorium Extension

Something Fishy With Moratorium Extension

Tuesday 2 Dec 2003
Ken Shirley
Press Releases -- Other

ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader Ken Shirley today labelled Fisheries Minister Pete Hodgson's announced nine-month extension to the moratorium on marine farming licences as an admission of political failure.

"Aquaculture has had nothing but the run-around from this Labour Government, which heralded new enabling legislation in November 2001. Because of their own internal political conflicts they then delivered a moratorium, which was due to expire on March 25 2004," Mr Shirley said.

"After three years of uncertainty, the Government is no clearer in its thinking - and now intends to legislate before Christmas for a nine month extension to that moratorium. Moratoriums breed uncertainty and result in capital flight from the sector.

"New Zealand has a tremendous potential, but Labour's inability to sort out its policy directions is destroying this country's marine farming. Aquaculture accounts for 15 percent of New Zealand's seafood exports and, in 2002, mussel exports alone earned $186 million.

"The fishing industry has identified the potential of a $2 billion aquacultural industry in New Zealand by 2020, but the Government's inability to provide the policy direction is curtailing this exciting industry.

"In a parallel announcement, the Government has heralded a new oceans policy - but, after years of talkfests and conferencing, it seems this policy has also joined the denizens of the deep," Mr Shirley said.


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