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Forest & Bird welcomes new Sub-Antarctic protection

Forest & Bird welcomes new Sub-Antarctic protection

Forest & Bird today welcomed the government’s decision to expand marine reserves and marine protected areas around New Zealand’s Sub-Antarctic islands.

Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson announced that a marine reserve would be created covering the entire 12-nautical mile territorial seas around Antipodes Island.

Of the territorial waters around the Bounty Islands, 58 percent will be made a marine reserve and Danish seine fishing will be banned on the western side and south east corner of the remaining territorial waters.

A marine reserve will cover 39 percent of the territorial waters around Campbell Island and a potential giant crab fishery will be allowed in the remaining area with a review after five years.
Forest & Bird Advocacy Manager Kevin Hackwell said Forest & Bird welcomed the expansion of protection in the Sub-Antarctic islands. The only existing marine reserve in New Zealand’s sub-Antarctic region is in the territorial waters around the Auckland Islands.

“Including all of Antipodes Island as a marine reserve is a good result for conservation." Hackwell said.
“Forest & Bird would rather have seen all of the territorial seas of the other two Bounties and Campbell Islands fully protected.

“But the outcome of 60 percent of the Bounties being put in a marine reserve, with trawling restriction in the remaining area, is a big improvement on the present lack of protection.

“The decision not to fully protect the territorial seas around Campbell Island on the basis of a possible crab fishery that does not yet exist is disappointing.

“All the territorial seas around New Zealand’s Sub-Antarctic islands have World Heritage status and as a country we should be recognising their international status with appropriate protection.

“This has been the result of an intensive year-long process in 2008, involving all the stakeholders.

“We should look at setting up similar forums for setting up marine reserves in other parts of New Zealand,” he said.

ends

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