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Sutton statement on fisheries welcomed

Sutton statement on fisheries welcomed

Forest and Bird today welcomed Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton's statement in Hong Kong yesterday calling for reductions in fishing subsidies that contribute to over fishing.

"This is an important step towards addressing the global oceans crisis and reduce unsustainable fishing," said Forest and Bird spokesperson Geoff Keey.

"Currently around three quarters of global fish stocks are in decline or collapsing. The fishing industry itself will be threatened if it is not placed on a sustainable footing," he said.

"Forest and Bird was also pleased that Jim Sutton spoke in favour of improved fisheries management. Reducing fishing subsidies alone will have little long term impact unless it is matched with accelerated efforts to improve the management of fisheries," he said.

Mr Keey said international catch limits needed to be set for migratory species like tuna. Environmental rules were also needed to reduce the environmental impacts of fishing such as habitat damage and by-kill of seabirds

"There also needs to be a commitment to maintaining marine biodiversity and protecting marine areas," he said.

Mr Keey said action was also needed to stop illegal, unregulated and unauthorised (IUU) fishing on the high seas.

Notes: Geoff Keey is attending the Hong Kong Ministerial as an advisor to the New Zealand delegation.

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