The Green Party is calling on the Government to urgently stop dirty, degrading fishing practices in areas most vulnerable to destruction.
For Seaweek 2021, which begins this week, the Green Party has penned an open letter to the Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Hon David Parker, calling for an end to bottom trawling of seamounts and other vulnerable seabed habitats.
“Our oceans are the lifeblood of our planet. They are home to precious habitats, wildlife and vast ecosystems that keep our blue planet stable,” said Green Party spokesperson for Oceans and Fisheries, Eugenie Sage.
“But our oceans are under threat. Over decades, successive governments here in Aotearoa New Zealand have let our oceans be overfished and exploited for short-term economic gain.
“Overfishing and sediment pollution from our activities on land, and proposals for seabed mining, put the health of our precious oceans at risk.
“Bottom trawling destroys centuries-old communities of deep sea corals, sea sponges and other marine life.
“These precious ecosystems will take centuries to recover – if at all.
“We are calling on the Government to urgently stop the dirty, degrading fishing practice of bottom trawling, for fish such as orange roughy. Some 50,000 New Zealanders signed a petition last year asking for bottom trawling to stop. Other countries have done it for their seamounts. Government needs to act.
“We must act now to allow our oceans to thrive, before it's too late.”