On historic day, Greens call on Aotearoa to step up for oceans

The Green Party is today celebrating the formal adoption of an historic United Nations Ocean Treaty.

“The adoption of this Treaty is an historic moment for ocean conservation around the world. But Aotearoa is still well out of step with global progress on protecting our oceans. The Government needs to show leadership and commit to protecting 30 percent of Aotearoa’s oceans by 2030,” says the Green Party’s spokesperson for oceans and fisheries, Eugenie Sage.

“Today we are calling on the new Oceans and Fisheries Minister Rachel Brooking to urgently step up protection for Aotearoa’s oceans.

“The Treaty that was adopted today will require countries to work together to protect global oceans from industrial fishing, deep sea drilling, plastic pollution, sediment runoff from land, seabed mining, and warming sea temperatures.

“In Aotearoa, we are woefully behind on action to protect ocean heath. Right now the Labour Government is not doing anywhere near enough to protect our own ocean and control the impacts of industrial fishing. The clock is ticking and we’re at risk of losing precious habitats forever.

“The Green Party has always said that we just need the political will to make changes that will transform our relationship with the oceans, from one of exploitation to one of respect and protection.

“This protection can begin with a ban on bottom trawling of precious seamounts, effective protection of the Hauraki Gulf Tīkapa Moana, action to reduce seabird and marine mammal bycatch, progressing the network of small marine protected areas on the South East Otago coast.

“The time is now to give our oceans the protection they deserve. Only with more Green MPs at the decision making table after the election, can we take immediate action to protect the seabed and oceans,” says Eugenie Sage.

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