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Minister To Attend Second United Nations Ocean Conference In Portugal

Oceans and Fisheries Minister David Parker will represent Aotearoa New Zealand at the second United Nations (UN) Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal, which runs from 27 June to 1 July.

The Conference will take stock of progress and aims to galvanise further action towards Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14, to “conserve and sustainably use oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”.

“We were a strong supporter of the adoption of SDG 14. This conference is an important opportunity to renew our commitment to all parts of SDG 14, and our commitment to act together,” David Parker said.

“At the conference I will deliver a statement highlighting New Zealand’s action and partnerships to protect the health and resilience of the ocean.”

David Parker will co-chair a discussion on addressing marine pollution.

“2022 is a vital year for action. We have at long last just seen the conclusion of an important new agreement at the World Trade Organisation on fisheries subsidies, an initiative begun by New Zealand and others over 20 years ago. New frameworks to protect biodiversity are being negotiated, and discussions will be launched on a new treaty to end plastic pollution,” David Parker said.

“I look forward to meeting my counterparts to discuss these important issues, and how we can best work together to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of the ocean.”

After the Lisbon conference, David Parker will travel to Iceland to see the high levels of innovation and automation in its seafood sector and gain insights that could benefit New Zealand’s seafood sector.

Iceland is a world leader in the automation of fisheries processing and maximising the use of fish during processing.

David Parker will tour a range of industry sites during his visit, which has been facilitated by the Iceland Oceans Cluster, an entrepreneurial organisation dedicated to innovation in the seafood industry.

Iceland and New Zealand’s fisheries management systems share many similarities and the visit will build on our existing cooperation in International Fisheries negotiations.

David Parker will also meet Iceland’s Minister for Social Affairs and Labour, Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson, and the CEO of the Icelandic Fisheries Directorate, Ögmundur Knútsson, to discuss labour market issues in fisheries, automation and challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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