Government negligence has let our oceans decline

The National Government has had eight years to take action on climate change and marine protection but has let New Zealand’s oceans decline to a sorry state, putting our economy and native species at risk, the Green Party said today.

The National Government has had eight years to take action on climate change and marine protection but has let New Zealand’s oceans decline to a sorry state, putting our economy and native species at risk, the Green Party said today.

 

The comments come on the back of a report by Statistics New Zealand, which has found that not only are our greenhouse gas emissions among the highest in the world per capita causing warming and acidifying oceans, but 90 percent of our sea and shore birds are at risk of extinction, and nearly 20 percent of our commercial fish species are overfished.

 

“It’s a bleak picture for our seas. It’s not good enough that this country, with our strong connection to the sea, has let our oceans suffer like this,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

 

“It’s clear that the Government has put its short-term thinking ahead of the long-term, ignoring the irreversible damage done to our oceans by climate change and commercial interests. National forgets that a healthy economy depends on a healthy environment, so they’re jeopardising our economic wellbeing as well.

 

“The Government is saying that it will fix the problem, but it’s always too little too late. It’s typical of the National Government to make promises that it has no plan to deliver, like Predator Free NZ.

 

“The Government claims that the Quota Management System is protecting fish stocks, of which nearly 20 percent are overfished. However, the report says that it’s not possible to get a full picture of the impacts of fishing. Sea lions, albatrosses and other animals are killed by fishing nets or lines yet the Government has no idea what to do about it.

 

“The Government is planning to implement some marine protected areas but only out to 12 nautical miles. We want marine protection, in whatever form that might take, to include the entire Exclusive Economic Zone.

 

“The Green Party has a plan to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, protect the marine environment and ensure that future generations can be proud of and enjoy the sea the way we have been able to,” said Mr Shaw. 

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