Press Release – Forest And Bird
Forest & Bird says the creation of an ocean sanctuary around our only subtropical region is long overdue and that the lack of action so far points to a failure of care on the part of the current government.Tuesday October 8 2013 – Wellington
Forest & Bird media release for immediate use
High-time for a Kermadecs ocean sanctuary, says Forest & Bird
Forest & Bird says the creation of an ocean sanctuary around our only subtropical region is long overdue – and that the lack of action so far points to a failure of care on the part of the current government.
This comes after Green Party MP Gareth Hughes announced he had submitted a private member’s bill to create a sanctuary around the Kermadec Islands.
Forest & Bird, WWF and the Pew Environment Group are campaigning for the unique biological and geological values of the 620,000 square kilometre region to be protected.
Located approximately halfway between Tonga and New Zealand, the Kermadecs support upwards of 15 million seabirds, including species like the tiny Kermadec storm petrel, which is only known to breed on one tiny islet in the group.
Migrating whale species such as the humpback stop off in the Kermadecs to rest with their calves while on their journey between their breeding grounds in the tropics and their Antarctic feeding grounds.
“The Kermadecs are as close to pristine as it’s possible to get anywhere in the world. That puts a huge onus on Parliament to act to ensure that the Kermadecs remain as they have been for millennia,” says Forest & Bird marine advocate Karen Baird.
“If this bill gets balloted, I expect it will get cross party support – showing that New Zealand can once again lead on sustainable oceans management policy,” Karen Baird says.