Seaweek material for schools and libraries
9 March 2001
The Ministry of Fisheries will celebrate Seaweek 2001 (9-13 March) by distributing colourful posters and pamphlets promoting an understanding of marine biodiversity to New Zealand schools and libraries.
Seaweek provides the perfect opportunity to get across the message that everyone, including school children, must play a part in the preservation of New Zealand's rich biodiversity within our unique marine environment. The Ministry of Fisheries is the main government agency with the job of managing potential biosecurity risks to our marine environment.
Around two-thirds of New Zealand's biodiversity is found in the sea. This includes 1000 fish species, 61 varieties of seabird, 41 different types of marine mammals, 2000 molluscs, 350 sponges, 900 types of seaweed and 400 echinoderms. And the list is growing with about seven new species identified each fortnight.
Government announced last year it will spend $14.1 million on research programmes to increase the knowledge of marine biodiversity, as part of a comprehensive five-year biodiversity package involving conservation, environment, fisheries and biosecurity. The Ministry of Fisheries, Department of Conservation and Ministry for the Environment are co-operating in this work.
Later this year the Ministry will also be launching a new web-based version of a school information kit at www.fish.govt.nz . ST*Rfish (short for Student and Teacher Resource), will contain lots of information to help students learn about New Zealand's fisheries. Different sections will focus on economics, science, social studies and geography.
For more information please contact:
Jane Gunn Alan Meek
Tel. (04) 470 2614 Tel (04) 470 2643