Each day during the month of April, the Institute will feature one of the 30 ‘perspectives’ from the One Ocean report. These short articles include a diverse range of views regarding oceans management in New Zealand. Enjoy!
George Clement, Chairman, Seafood New Zealand Ltd
Enabling responsible deepwater fishing
New Zealand’s reputation is built on conservation – on the wise use of our natural resources. We have the fourth-largest marine zone in the world, of which 90 percent is pristine. We have huge opportunities ahead of us.
All forms of food production necessitate changes to pristine environments – organic farming requires wholesale removal of natural ecosystems. Marine food production is less damaging but still requires great care. Our quota system is emulated around the world. Over half of our wild seafood harvest is independently certified as sustainable, assessed against the best global scientific standards.
Marine biodiversity in 30 percent of our zone is conserved under a network of marine protected areas. These conservation measures are internationally recognised by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Amongst OECD countries, New Zealand has the largest area and proportion of our zone under marine protection. We need to further strengthen our marine conservation through broad discussion and new legislation.
New Zealanders can stand proud on the global stage for our conservation successes, particularly in our oceans. There is still work to be done. We might have the fourth-largest zone, but we do not have the fourth-largest economy. To paraphrase Lord Rutherford: we have to think!
The challenges we face are to not only inventory the biodiversity and resources within our zone but to also develop new technologies that enable New Zealanders to benefit from these resources with minimal environmental impacts. New challenges will require new ways of thinking. The future of New Zealand’s oceans requires continued efforts from all and relies upon our ability to understand the true value to our children, our culture, our environment, our economy and to the world.