A further delay of the Marine Reserves Bill, which has been in select committee for nine years, shows the Government doesn’t care about ocean protection, the Green Party says.
“Nick Smith criticised the Labour Government in 2008 for having let the Marine Reserves Bill languish in select committee since 2002, saying, ‘It shows a complete lack of commitment to marine conservation.’ Now his Government is showing the same lack of commitment,” said Green Party oceans spokesperson Gareth Hughes.
The Marine Reserves Bill, introduced to Parliament in 2001, has been in select committee since 2002. This week the Bill was again deferred until October 20, after this Parliament ends.
“At the moment only 0.41 per cent of our total marine environment is set aside as marine reserve. We urgently need to create more marine reserves and create better rules to protect our oceans,” said Mr Hughes.
“However, the Government is actually increasing the threats to marine life by promoting aquaculture and allowing exploration for deep sea oil.”
The International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) recently released information that showed our oceans were in a worse state than previously suspected and were entering a phase of unprecedented marine species extinction.
“Our oceans are in urgent need of greater protection. This Bill is an important contribution to cleaning up our oceans and making our commitment to the 100% Pure brand real,” said Mr Hughes.
IPSO release: http://www.stateoftheocean.org/ipso-2011-workshop-summary.cfm