The Government’s intention to introduce recreational fishing parks is an attempt to mask the fact it has left New Zealand huge Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) to be plundered by oil and gas and seabed mining interests, the Green Party said today.
“The Government thinks it can buy off recreational fishers with these two parks, which still allowing commercial fishing for scallop, crayfish and paua,” said Green Party environment spokesperson Eugenie Sage.
“The proposed new Marine Protected Areas law, outlined in a consultation document released today, only covers the 12 nautical miles of New Zealand’s territorial waters, conveniently leaving the much larger EEZ to be exploited.
“The recreational fishing parks themselves do not go far enough to stop all commercial fishing so in one fell swoop the Government has left both our territorial waters and the EEZ vulnerable to exploitation.
“With the fourth largest EEZ in the world, a reputation as the world’s seabird capital, and many distinctive marine species and habitats, New Zealand should be a world leader in oceans management but the Government is more interested in exploitation.
“The Marine Protected Areas Act discussion document is a wasted opportunity. It is tinkering with the existing laws rather than providing the basis for the step change in oceans protection which our whales and dolphins, seabirds, fish and marine habitats need and which Nick Smith has long promised and now reneged on,” said Ms Sage.