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Marine reserves and marine disasters

Written By: - Date published: 10:13 am, October 29th, 2016 - 6 comments
Categories: climate change, Conservation, global warming, water - Tags: , , ,

The creation of the Ross Sea marine reserve is excellent news – credit where it is due to all those involved:

The creation of a new international marine reserve in the Ross Sea was made possible after Russia dropped objections following lobbying from New Zealand.

Murray McCully, the New Zealand foreign minister, said the final deal involved concessions to Russia including alterations to the boundaries of the reserve and increased fishing quota outside the no-take zone. …

Now how about we take on the ecological disaster in our own waters?

NZ oceans deteriorating, marine wildlife threatened

New Zealand’s oceans, coasts and marine wildlife are deteriorating due to increased pressure from humans, and the government says the changes pose serious concerns.

The Ministry for the Environment has released an in-depth look at the state of the marine environment in collaboration with Statistics New Zealand.

Read the report Our Marine Environment 2016 here.

Ocean acidification and warming as a result of greenhouse gas emissions and the risk of extinction of most of our native marine birds and coastal degradation are the report’s top worries.

According to the report more than one-third of New Zealand’s native species and subspecies of seabirds, more than half of shorebirds, and more than one-quarter of marine mammals – including albatrosses, penguins, herons, dolphins, and whales – are threatened with extinction.

The marine economy contributes $4 billion to the country’s annual economic activity and the government says having healthy oceans is important.

Then the government should stop turning a blind eye to our freshwater and environmental problems, stop backing fraudulent carbon credits and get serious about climate change. There is no economy without the environment.

6 comments on “Marine reserves and marine disasters ”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    Then the government should stop turning a blind eye to our freshwater and environmental problems, stop backing fraudulent carbon credits and get serious about climate change.

    They can’t do any of that because then they’d have to get rid of capitalism and the extractivism that it’s based upon.

    Even Labour is more about continuing the status quo than finding a sustainable alternative.

    • red-blooded 1.1

      Labour has a couple of advantages in this area:
      1) A much better approach to emissions trading and taxing polluters (still not the perfect approach, but at least they are trying), and
      2) A MOI with The Greens.

      A couple of extracts from a reasonably recent speech from Little:
      “In our caucus we have set up an Oceans group that includes not only the usual suspects of the environment, conservation and climate change but also primary production, fishing and energy spokespeople.

      We’ll be taking an integrated approach to making sure we are protecting our oceans and their biodiversity for future generations.”

      “We are proposing that New Zealand’s targets should be at least comparable to what the EU has undertaken to do within its overall target of a 40 per cent carbon dioxide emissions reduction below 1990 levels by 2030.

      And here’s where our approach is different from the government.

      We know it isn’t enough just to set hopeful targets, sit back, relax and hope the greenhouse gas emissions fall.

      National has no workable plan to reduce emissions, despite setting target after target.

      Labour is committed to an independent Climate Commission, tasked with planning a transition pathway towards a low carbon economy and implementing a serious plan of carbon budgeting using the emissions trading scheme and other complementary measures.”


  2. mosa 2

    Could not agree more Draco.

    While the Ross sea reserve is seriously important and the government needs an argument in case they are accused of doing nothing to support the environment the oceans as a whole around the world and its species are at serious risk due to the demands of the Capitalist approach.

    Both major parties are totally bereft of the intelligence to see that the very system they are intent on supporting is harming people as well as the natural environment in quick succession and the effects are dangerous and irreversible.

    The reality is “Healthy oceans” are a long way behind healthy profits and greed.

    • Garibaldi 2.1

      Don’t worry, Paula Bennett will have all the answers and solutions, all of which will be aspirational and given a fifty year time frame. See…. no wucking furries for National.

  3. Jenny Kirk 3

    I do wish people would read Labour’s announced policies and philosophies expressed in our Policy Platform, before linking Labour with National’s non-performance in so many important areas, including environmental matters.


    Andrew Little summed up Labour’s concerns and intentions to improve matters when he said the following (part of the speech Red Blooded mentioned in 1.1 above)

    ” Failure to protect our environment puts thousands of those jobs at risk. This is why sustainability and climate change are core considerations of our Future of Work project. Nearly one hundred and fifty thousand New Zealanders are directly employed in our agriculture sector and thousands more rely on the sector for their livelihood.

    ” Those jobs are tied directly to the health of our land.

    ” When our environment suffers, due to climate change or polluted rivers or erosion or extreme weather, those jobs disappear and the families that rely on them suffer”.

  4. Jenny Kirk 4

    Interesting that the media comments say the Ross Sea marine reserve plan was put out in 2012. I can remember hearing suggestions at a Labour Environment Caucus committee something like 25-26 years ago, that the environment around the Ross Sea was under threat and needed protection. And I’m pretty sure we suggested work should be started then on getting it protected.

    I hope another 25 years doesn’t pass before real work is started on protecting our own rivers and coastal outlets, because it could well be too late then to reverse the damage now being done via untreated sewage, farm effluent, subdivision and forestry sediment.

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