The Green Party is pleased that ongoing public pressure from environmental NGOs, recreational fishers, the Greens and citizens has persuaded the Government to consider a serious rollback of damaging bottom trawling over substantial areas of the Hauraki Gulf/Tīkapa Moana/Te Moanui-ā-Toi.
“The Hauraki Gulf/Tīkapa Moana/Te Moanaui ā Toi is a taonga in trouble. It has been in crisis for a very long time. The Green Party has been consistent in calling for action to protect marine life and the ecosystem for years. What the Government has announced today is a good start to reducing the impacts of commercial fishing,” says Green Party oceans and fisheries spokesperson Eugenie Sage.
“The Hauraki Gulf Marine Park should be a place where marine life can flourish, safe from high impact, industrial fishing methods such as bottom trawling and Danish seining. Bottom trawling has no place in the Hauraki Gulf and should be phased out entirely.
“The options proposed today are a great start. But, we remain concerned that the detailed proposals and the consultation document have not been released, and that the Government is not taking immediate action.
“In the 2021 Revitalising the Gulf report, the Government conceded that transitioning from bottom contact methods could have economic consequences. We hope that loss of profits for fishing companies is not the reason the Government has stopped short of a complete ban.
“Tackling climate change and protecting our oceans goes hand in hand. Warmer and prolonged marine heatwaves contribute to mortality events for marine life. Healthy oceans to help regulate the climate.
“Final decisions on this won’t be until after the election. It’s essential that we lock these changes in now because a National/ACT Government could stop this progress in its tracks, favouring business interests over the health of our oceans.
“Tīkapa Moana/Te Moanaui ā Toi/the Hauraki Gulf supports the wellbeing of more than 1.5 million people across Tāmaki Makaurau. Only with more Green MPs will we be able to take the necessary action to protect the health of our oceans, all the creatures that live in and on them, and people and communities who depend on healthy oceans for our survival and wellbeing,” says Eugenie Sage.