Dire fisheries predictions do not include New Zealand
New Zealand has acted early to ensure sustainability of our fisheries and marine ecosystems said Ministry of Fisheries Chief Executive John Glaister.
Dr Glaister was speaking in regard to the claim by overseas scientists that fisheries are heading for “global collapse” in 2048 if the present pace of fishing continues.
“In some parts of the world things are not as good as they are here, but New Zealand recognised the problem early and has put systems in place to rebuild fisheries since the 1980s.”
“New Zealand’s fisheries are in better shape today than they were when the QMS was introduced. They have been rebuilding for the past 20 years.”
“Now we are looking at eco-systems that are supporting our fisheries.”
In 2001 New Zealand closed 19 deep-water sea-mount areas and their diverse eco-systems to all trawling. We also have 28 marine reserves in place around our coasts.
“But we are not resting on our laurels”, Dr Glaister said. “We are continually working on improvements and investing in science to ensure our fisheries and their ecosystems will continue to provide food for our children and our children’s children.”
The Government recognised the need for more marine protection when it released the Biodiversity Strategy in 1999. It calls for a network of marine protected areas around New Zealand to preserve marine ecosystems.
The Ministry of Fisheries and the Department of Conservation have developed a Marine Protected Areas Strategy and will be working with communities and stakeholders to implement this.
The strategy is designed to use science and local knowledge to select a range of valuable marine eco-systems to protect around New Zealand.
For further information please contact Jim Flack, Senior Communications Adviser, Ministry of Fisheries, 021 388 671.