Greens Will Phase Out Destructive Commercial Fishing Practices To Restore Hauraki Gulf

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The Green Party will end bottom impact trawling, dredging, and Danish seining in the Hauraki Gulf, as part of its Thriving Oceans Plan.

Green Party Co-leader and Tamaki Makaurau candidate Marama Davidson said today:

“So many New Zealanders love and enjoy Tikapa Moana/Te Moananui a Toi/the Hauraki Gulf and want to see it thrive.

“A growing population, greater recreational use of the Tikapa Moana/Te Moananui a Toi/the Hauraki Gulf, and a better scientific understanding of how much the gulf’s health has declined, mean we need to step up protection.

“The Green Party’s Thriving Oceans Plan would help restore this precious resource so that the water is clean, the seafloor protected, and the fish, dolphins, whales, and little blue penguins who inhabit it are able to flourish.

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“Bottom trawling and dredging are indiscriminate and destructive fishing methods. These practices destroy and degrade the sea bed habitats of the Tikapa Moana/Te Moananui a Toi/Hauraki Gulf, which needs a healthy seafloor to thrive.

“We will urgently phase out the most destructive commercial fishing practices in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park such as bottom impact trawling, dredging, and Danish seining, as recommended in Sea Change Tai Timu Tai Pari: the Hauraki Gulf Marine Spatial Plan.

“The Green Party will also zone parts of the Tikapa Moana/Te Moananui a Toi/Hauraki Gulf for additional protection, including areas for customary takes and iwi and hapū management, as well as no-take marine reserves and areas for scientific research.

“To give everyone a better chance of catching a fish, we will reduce bag limits, and bring in boat catch limits for certain species while they recover. This is crucial to prevent the overfishing which leads to the loss of some species.

“The Green Party will also invest $10m to help restore 100,000 hectares of shellfish beds, and take immediate steps to reduce sewerage and stormwater pollution.

“We need to think ahead and make changes now if we want future generations to be able to enjoy Tikapa Moana/Te Moananui a Toi/the Hauraki Gulf. The Green Party is willing to do what’s necessary to protect this precious taonga.”

Our Thriving Oceans Plan would:

• Urgently phase out the most destructive commercial fishing practices in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park such as bottom impact trawling, dredging, and Danish seining, as recommended in Sea Change Tai Timu Tai Pari: the Hauraki Gulf Marine Spatial Plan.

• Zone areas in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park for active protection and management of fish and marine life. These will include areas for customary takes and iwi and hapū management through tools such as mataitai and taiapure, areas for scientific research, recreational fishing, and areas for no take marine reserves and temporary no take areas.

• Give everyone a better chance of catching a fish by reducing bag limits and implementing boat catch limits for key species until they recover, based on scientific assessments of what’s necessary to restore healthy fish stocks.

• Work to restore 100,000 hectares of shellfish beds, the equivalent of 100,000 rugby fields, and invest $10 million in this.

• Reduce sewerage and stormwater pollution with investment through the Government’s Three Waters Infrastructure funding programme, as well as funding soft infrastructure such as rain gardens and green roofs to absorb rainwater before it runs into the sea.

• Restore the health of tributary rivers and streams through more riparian planting and freshwater clean-up programmes, as outlined in the Green Party’s Farming for the Future plan.

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