Time to protect the Kermadecs

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.

5 Comments Posted

  1. It would be quite IMPOSSIBLE to effectively extend the present 12-nautical-mile marine reserve around the Kermadec Islands, being the territorial limit, for the simple reason that the remoteness of the islands, and the large expanse of sea that would have to be policed by the Navy and Air Force, would make it quite UNENFORCEABLE! There is no point in having a new law that cannot be enforced, except at huge and impractical cost to taxpayers! So with all due respect, Gareth Hughes, any Bill to this end is doomed.
    The Kermadec Islands comprise the largest, Raoul Island (at latitude 29ºS, with a meteorological and research station, which BTW has at Denham Bay one stunted coconut palm that has never borne any nuts!), the Herald and Meyer and Napier and Nugent Islets (the northernmost), MacCaulay Island, Curtis Island, Cheeseman Island, and L’Esperance Rock (the southernmost, at latitude 31ºS, which has had an helicopter landing pad and fuel tanks installed on it for emergency flights to Raoul Island).

  2. I read a bit about tuna fisheries from a variety of sources a while back – which didn’t include Greenpeace – but talking to tuna fishers about the decline in stocks was the clincher.

  3. On your comments about the Kermadecs. There is a 12mile offshore marine reserve there now and the commercial quota for bottom species is so small that it us not commercially viable to catch it even in a dinghy and bottom trawling is banned. The only commercial fishery viable there is tuna longlining which as it catchs migatory species in mid water does no harm at all. How you think that making the marine reserve out to 200 miles is going to bring in much more financially has me puzzled as no one is aloud to land there anyway and there is little of interest to tourists on the deep sea they can’t see anywhere else. The amount of marine reserve area is of no importance its the quality of those we have that counts.
    Is there a world competition between green groups and politicians to see who can lock up the most land and water regardless of the benifits to humanity and the enviroment.
    As less than 10% of New Zealands EEZ has ever seen a trawl net with 30% of our EEZ closed to bottom trawling and the commercial quota system keeps most if not all areas at high population numbers within natrual fluctuations, there is no reason to lock up our sea bed in marine reserves except for point scoring by politicians and green groups most of who are overseas controlled corperations with only there own adjendas ah heart and not the interests of local people and enviroment.
    As for Sam Buchanan’s comments about the decline in the Tuna fisheries, Where does he get this apart from the mis-information from green groups like greenpeace and closing the kermadec area isnt going to help any of the fisherys that may have problems like the Atlantic bluefin for example.

  4. Given the steady decline in tuna fisheries, you’d think any sane advocate for the fisheries industry would be pushing for increased protection. Mind you, this is the same Seafood Industry Council that a few years ago was assuring us that mistreatment of workers on foreign-flagged vessels was a rare and minor problem which didn’t require a government response.

  5. It’s upsetting whenever i heard some people put commercial interests (or greed?) before protecting our environment, they might make short term financial gains for 10 or 20 years, but the damage done to our nature will take hundreds (or even millions) years to heal…(plenty examples seen in many other countries, look at the air quality in northern China nowadays is one)
    Best wishes to the success of your bill

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