Fisheries Inshore New Zealand supports marine protection; a healthy marine environment is important for many reasons, including to provide for healthy fish stocks.
Too often, public discussion around marine protection is confused, and focusses almost exclusively on marine protected areas and marine reserves. These two management interventions are simply statutory tools that may offer protection to the marine environment in specific circumstances (albeit that the legal purpose of marine reserves is to allow for scientific study).
While Fisheries Inshore New Zealand supports marine protection that does not necessarily translate into support for MPAs. Marine protected areas are a means to an end, not an end in themselves.
Rather, we take a risk-based approach to marine protection. For example, if a marine environment is at risk from heavy sedimentation or sewage discharge, we would not support an MPA being implemented in that area, such a management tool would have no beneficial effect in that circumstance. Where an MPA is the best tool to protect the marine environment, Fisheries Inshore New Zealand would likely offer our support. For more information about Fisheries Inshore New Zealand’s position on marine protection, see our submission on the proposed Marine Protected Areas Bill from 2016.
Also included in the consultation paper on the Marine Protected Areas Bill was the proposals to establish two recreational fishing parks; one in the Hauraki Gulf and the other in the Marlborough Sounds. Fisheries Inshore New Zealand’s views on those are also included in our submission on the Bill.