The Kermadec marine sanctuary is a win for the many conservation groups who have campaigned long and hard for this protection to be granted, says Labour’s Conservation Spokesperson Ruth Dyson.
“Labour supports the initiative but hopes the Government may go further and actually create a world marine reserve with stronger protections rather than the lesser status of a sanctuary.
“This is important because there has been considerable debate within Government regarding the yet to be seen Marine Protection Bill and its treatment of the EEZ. There is no fishing or mining in either a reserve or sanctuary, but discharges from vessels would be allowed in a sanctuary and submarine cables are also allowed. In a reserve neither is permitted.
“The Government can’t use this initiative as an excuse to not provide for EEZ marine reserves in its Marine Protection Bill. That would undermine both the Kermadec announcement and the principles of marine protection.
“Protection of the magnificent Kermadec area has been a strong focus of many conservation groups. They deserve congratulations and acknowledgment for this important victory,” says Ruth Dyson.