by Gareth Hughes
Time to protect the Kermadecs
Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees. The Seafood Industry Council’s Lesley Campbel has an opinion piece in the Dominion Post arguing the Kermadecs do not need marine reserve status which shows the fishing industry lobby are their own worst enemy.
At a time when our fishing industry’s sustainability credentials are being questioned by a number of international media, retailers and consumers, creating an expanded Kermadecs marine reserve is smart for the industry, not bad.
This reserve if expanded out from 12 to 200 nautical miles around the Kermadecs would be one of the world’s largest marine reserves and would only displace around $120,000 of fishing annually. It would be a huge boost to the tiny 0.41% of our waters we have protected in marine reserves.
The global positive media attention in creating a giant reserve would bring in far more financially to the industry than this small amount of fishing ever would. More importantly however we have the chance now to protect this unique, iconic and important place forever.
I’m currently working on a members’ bill to protect the Kermadecs and hope the fishing lobby can realise marine protection is in their interest as well as the environments.