New MPA Act gives certainty to industries but not to future generations

Poor knight reserve first light travel nzpam maps combined

Poor Knight Island Reserve from First Light Travel. Maps from NZPAM.

The new Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Act excludes the entire EEZ, continental shelf and all areas under petroleum and mineral licenses, from MPA consideration. The Ministers say this is to give certainty to industries, but what about certainty for future generations to have a healthy ocean to thrive on?  Please tell the government what you think. Send submissions by email to mpaconsultation@mfe.govt.nz before this Friday 11 March 5pm. Be sure to include “MPA Act consultation”, your name, address, tel and email. Alternatively use Forest & Birds’ online form.  Below are our key points you may like to cover in yours.

Key Points of CJT Submission

  1. Climate Justice Taranaki Inc. (CJT) welcome a reform of marine protected areas legislation.
  2. The new Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Act places economic growth well above environmental conservation and ignores the fact that the so-called ‘balance’ has long been tipped.
  3. The Act must include the entire marine areas of New Zealand, including territorial seas, the Exclusive Economic Zone and continental shelf (EEZ-CS), to be fit for purpose.
  4. Areas under petroleum and mineral licenses should not be excluded from MPA consideration. There cannot possibly be a representative and adaptive network of MPAs when the EEZ and all licensed areas are excluded.
  5. The foundation and emphasis of the Act should be full protection of marine areas with significant conservation values, as ensured under the Marine Reserve Act.
  6. The regulations and management of other MPAs, notably existing marine mammal sanctuaries and the proposed seabed reserves, require substantial strengthening to offer adequate species protection and opportunities for recovery of threatened species or communities.
  7. Recreational fishing parks do not enhance, protect or restore marine biodiversity and ought not be introduced into the MPA Act. Conflicts between recreational and commercial fisheries are best managed under the Fisheries Act.
  8. CJT support meaningful recognition of the Treaty of Waitangi and customary rights and values in the Act.

Read this media story: Anton Van Heldon: Govt failing in duty to marine life (NZ Herald, 8/03/2016)

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