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Cablegate: New Zealand: Lukewarm Response to Cites

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 WELLINGTON 000833

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP/ANP, OES/OMC
BANGKOK FOR ESTH

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/29/2014
TAGS: SENV EFIS TBIO ETRD NZ
SUBJECT: NEW ZEALAND: LUKEWARM RESPONSE TO CITES
"INTRODUCTION FROM THE SEA" PROPOSAL FOR COP13

REF: STATE 195377

Classified By: POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC COUNSELOR KATHERINE B. HADDA,
FOR REASONS 1.5 (B,D)

1. (C) Summary: The GoNZ is unlikely to support the U.S.
draft resolution that aims to clarify the term "Introduction
from the Sea." New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and
Trade (MFAT) interlocutors expressed skepticism that the
draft submission as written will address illegal, unregulated
and unreported (IUU) fishing. They are also not sure that
CITES is an appropriate forum for a discussion of flag state
responsibilities. Despite these reservations, the GoNZ would
likely support the U.S. proposal if it appeared that a
majority of other member states agreed. End summary.

2. (U) Post delivered reftel demarche to the Environment
Division of the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and
Trade (MFAT.) MFAT discussed the U.S. proposal at a
September 27 roundtable that included representatives from
the Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Fish. On
September 28, Poloff discussed the roundtable's views with
Emma Kerslake, an Australian Department of Foreign Affairs
and Trade official seconded to MFAT's Environment Division,
(NB: Kerslake did not attend the roundtable, but was given a
read-out to convey to us.)

3. (C) Kerslake noted that the roundtable participants were
unclear on the motivation behind the U.S. proposed draft
resolution, and asked what specifically the U.S. hopes to
achieve by its passage. Kerslake noted that if the desired
result was truly a desire to achieve better scientific data
collection, there were more effective mechanisms. Poloff
responded that the resolution would assist in addressing IUU.
While agreeing that IUU is a serious concern for NZ,
Kerslake was skeptical that this proposal would enhance the
accuracy of CITES trade data and specimen tracking, believing
that a broader catch documentation scheme would be more
effective. Kerslake then noted that the proposed resolution
would have no impact on the NZ fishing industry, as they do
not have any need for IFS certificates ) neither harvesting
endangered species nor allowing foreign flagged vessels to
use NZ as a port of first landing for Article II species.

Specific Questions
------------------

4. (C) Kerslake highlighted the following specific areas of
concern and questions which she said were raised by GoNZ
officials at the roundtable:

-- Kerslake said the officials expressed concern over the
proposal to allow agreements between the Management Authority
of a State of first landing and a flag State, questioning why
a flag state would be in a better position to regulate than a
landing authority. She acknowledged, however, that it might
be valuable for a landing authority to be able to request
information from a landing vessel's government.

-- Para. 13: Is CITES the best forum for a discussion of the
responsibilities of flag states?

-- Para. 19: Would the landing authority be empowered under
the proposal to get this information from the flag state? If
so, GONZ agrees this would be an advantage in combating IUU.

-- Para. 21: While applauding the intent, Kerslake noted
GONZ reservations at the ability of this resolution to impose
on non-party states a determination by a regional or
international management organization that a particular
landing is detrimental.

We can be convinced
-------------------

5. (C) Kerslake noted that the GoNZ would likely support the
U.S. proposal if it appeared that a majority of member states
agreed. However, should the resolution appear unlikely to be
passed, she suggested the U.S. consider proposing as a
separate resolution a definition of "in the marine
environment not under the jurisdiction of any State."
Kerslake said the GoNZ would support this.

Comment
-------

6. (C) As noted, Kerslake is an employee of the Australian
DFAT, and has previously worked on fisheries issues for
Australia, although she is not familiar with CITES in
particular. She was very forthright during the meeting, and
admitted that her interpretation might be more direct than
that intended by New Zealand interlocutors. It is likely
that the GoNZ delegation in Bangkok will appear to be more
conciliatory, and may not couch their concerns in the same
language. However, it appears that the GoNZ's skepticism
about the need for and the language in the U.S. resolution is
genuine.
Burnett

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