Sabotage of NZ marine reserve vision doomed to failure: Carter
Selfish attempts from groups
intent on sabotaging the Government's marine reserve vision in New
Zealand would fail, Conservation Minister Chris Carter said yesterday.
The process for establishing
marine reserves needed to be streamlined to avoid a repeat of the
more than 10-year-long saga involved in the creation of Paterson
Inlet reserve, he said.
"The whole process has been
a bit ad hoc. It's been a lose-lose (situation) all around."
On Stewart Island yesterday
to announce the inlet's Ulva Island Marine Reserve, Mr Carter launched
a stinging attack on opponents of marine protection reserves.
The Southland Recreational
Fishers' Association opposed the reserve to the bitter end, claiming
a mataitai reserve should cover the entire inlet, instead of the
90 percent it will now cover.
"I'm mystified why recreational
fishers are not our greatest allies," Mr Carter said.
New Zealand's efforts in
marine conservation had lagged well behind efforts to protect permanently
land-based species in national parks, he said.
"If we added together all
the marine reserves we have around mainland New Zealand, they cover
an area smaller than the smallest of our 14 national parks, even
though our marine area is 15 times larger than our land area."
New Zealand had much work
to do in marine conservation and the Ulva Island initiative was
an important step forward, he said.
" I congratulate the local
Stewart Island community for their role in achieving it."
Speaking generally, Mr Carter
said silly objections from selfish groups were slowing the drive
towards the Government's aim of vesting 10 percent of New Zealand
coastline as marine reserves.
Similar objections to national
parks had been raised in the past, but no-one would argue their
value now, he said.
"I'm impatient about marine protection.
I feel worried about the future of our marine protection."
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