NZ Green Party
The world’s most diverse seabird community needs you

If ever there was an opportunity to protect a marine environment abundant in unique species, a growing tourism interest, and with minimal impact on fishing interests, this is it.

The Subantarctic region is recognised as being of international significance. While the islands themselves enjoy considerable protection as nature reserves, little of the marine area surrounding them is protected. Yet the endemic seabird species living there rely on the sea for its smorgasboard of food. So while they may be safely protected on land, at sea they are vulnerable unless protected there too.

Further, there is a high degree of inter-dependence between species — for example, on the Bounty Islands the Toroa (Salvin’s albatross) uses moulted penguin feathers to reinforce their nests — so protection at sea is needed to protect the land.

Salvins on nest with Erect crested penguins

The Marine Protected Areas process has been churning away for six years, and has now proposed two options for marine protection — one option provides partial protection, the other provides full protection.

The uniqueness of the Subantarctic region requires full protection — no question — and you have a chance to have your say by emailing your submission to mpa@biodiversity.govt.nz by the closing date, Friday 31 July 2009.

Information on the two options is available here. Forest and Bird also have ideas for submissions on their website.

One thing in particular you may wish to comment on is that the ‘partial protection’ option would see a large area around Campbell Island excluded from protection because giant spider crab fishers, who they are not currently fishing there, may want to use that area at some stage in the future. This is a poor reason to leave the area unprotected.

Antarctic cod

You may never have the fortune to visit this unique region. However, if you comment on this proposal and these areas gain the full marine protection status they deserve, you’ll have helped protect one of the world’s most unique and wild places. Remember, you don’t have to be an expert to make a submission; you just have to state your reasons.

Have your say by emailing your submission to mpa@biodiversity.govt.nz by the closing date, Friday 31 July 2009.

More information on the two options

Forest and Bird: ideas for submissions on their website

3 thoughts on “The world’s most diverse seabird community needs you

  1. This is one big bag, because we’d have to preserve at least intramurally,.seven species, if not all of their environment.
    Nothing much involved in establishing breeding ground for them.
    Natch – (suggestions box)!

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  2. The extent of claims over native species and natural resources is spelled out in a non-exhaustive list of “Taonga Species” given in an appendix to the Wai 262 statement of claim:

    “Kumara (Ipomoea batatas), pohutukawa (Metrosideros species), koromiko (Hebe species), puawananga (Clematis species), tuna (eels), indigenous forests, pupuharakeke (Placostylus hongii), tuatara, kereru (New Zealand native pigeon), tohora (whales), indigenous fish species, freshwater and marine flora, ngutukaka (kaka beak), kiekie, parareke, toropata, manuka, ti kouka, kanuka, totara, matai, whinau, pingao, toetoe, kawakawa, tutu, mamaku, tui, titi, New Zealand flaxes (Phormium species), kiore (Pacific rat), tuere, kawau, tipori (Cordyline fruticosa), toheroha, kokowai (red ochre), karengo, kuaka.”

    Some like whales, kereru and tuatara are already absolutely protected in law (in the case of whales, Maori are permitted the exclusive right to scavange beached carcasses) and so why additional Maori rights over them are needed is dubious.

    But others, such as plants and fish that presently have economic value, or could be developed into new products, or bioprospected for medicines or genetic engineering purposes, would represent a financial bonanza for Maori tribal monopolies gained over their commercial exploitation and applied to rent-seeking and exclusion of competitors.

    There is also evident overlap in the implications of granting Maori tribes property and regulatory rights over the foreshore and seabed and doing the same for the likes of “indigenous fish species” and “marine flora” in the Wai 262 shopping list.

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/opinion/michael-coote/ticking-time-bomb-awaits-most-unlikely-alliance

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  3. This is one big bag, because we’d have to preserve at least intramurally,.seven species, if not all of their environment.
    Nothing much involved in establishing breeding ground for them.

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