Minister acknowledges Antarctic science work
27 September 2011
Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Phil Heatley has today congratulated scientists on their work on International Polar Year (IPY) projects in Antarctica. At a symposium in Wellington this evening, Mr Heatley said the research undertaken during IPY will inform New Zealand’s approach to a range of Antarctic issues including conservation, sustainable harvesting and climate change.
"Science collaboration is an important part of New Zealand’s continuing engagement in Antarctica, Antarctic science, and on Antarctic issues," says Mr Heatley.
"The scientific insights and outcomes achieved underpin our expertise and leadership in Antarctic science. I hope this work will inspire young scientists to seek research opportunities in this area," says Mr Heatley.
New Zealand’s IPY contribution represented one of the largest injections of funding into Antarctic science for many years.
"Our participation in the international IPY effort has reinforced our commitment to collaborative, high quality and rigorous scientific research in Antarctica."
New Zealand participation in Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) managed fisheries returns worth between $20 and $30 million a year to the New Zealand economy.
"New Zealand’s leadership and its commitment to science in CCAMLR is an excellent example of how we can achieve economic value within the Ross Sea region while ensuring sustainability and ecosystem protection, within strict environmental protocols," says Mr Heatley.
The IPY programme included a large marine research programme in the form of the Census of Antarctic Marine Life survey by the NIWA research vessel Tangaroa.
"Not only did we learn more about fishstocks and how they interact with the rest of the ecosystem, we also gained new insight into the drivers of biodiversity of the Antarctic," Mr Heatley says.