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Ocean report must spur govt & industry action

The Ministry for the Environment’s latest report on the state of New Zealand’s oceans makes clear New Zealand is failing to do even the minimum for our oceans, which are in a state of crisis.

“New Zealand is a collection of islands – everything we do affects the ocean. From plastics, to sedimentation, to destructive fishing methods, successive governments have allowed our oceans to suffer a death by a thousand cuts,” says Forest & Bird CE Kevin Hague.

“The time for action is now. The Government needs the courage to stand up to the industries which are driving this crisis: urban developers, farming, forestry, shipping, fishing, oil and gas.”

“Our ocean species, on which we all depend, need a comprehensive, ambitious plan to end destructive fishing methods, to protect 30% of our marine space, to provide better rules for development, sedimentation, waste, and for major cuts in CO2 outputs.

“With the pervasive pressure of climate change upon us, the need to protect and restore habitats becomes even more crucial. A fundamental shift to the way New Zealand does business is required.

"We must take a precautionary approach in how we manage our marine environment. We must protect what we have, and work actively to restore areas and reduce impacts where that is achievable.

“Important habitats are being lost as we speak, and the speed with which this is happening is shocking. The time for action is now. Everyone’s economic and social well-being depends on a healthy, functioning ocean environment.”

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