Fishing industry legal challenge a step too far

The Green Party is calling the fishing industry’s legal challenge against the Kermadec Sanctuary self-serving and a step too far.

The New Zealand Fishing Industry Association today filed legal proceedings in the High Court against the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary Bill.

"The fishing industry has overstepped the mark, with a self-serving attempt to override New Zealanders’ and the government’s ability to regulate and protect our oceans," said Green Party environment and fisheries spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

“The industry’s legal action against the Kermadec Sanctuary looks as if it is trying to obtain veto power through the courts to limit the Government’s ability to create marine reserves and other protected areas in places like the outstanding Kermadec Islands.

“The fishing industry needs to look at the bigger picture. Exploiting every last corner of our oceans will compromise the health of our oceans and fisheries, and eventually the fishing industry. We need to leave some of the oceans to nature.

“The legal challenge underlines why National’s proposed changes to marine protected area legislation (currently restricted to the territorial sea and the 12 mile limit) should be extended to include the Exclusive Economic Zone out to the 200 mile limit.

“The new legislation needs to include the EEZ to ensure there is a clear process and framework for establishing marine protected areas which provides for consultation with iwi and all stakeholders,” said Ms Sage.

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