Marine reserve advice soon

Advice on six proposed marine reserves for the southern coast will go to the Acting Minister of Conservation next month, the Department of Conservation (Doc) says.

Doc planning permissions and land director Tash Hayward said Doc continued to work to draft advice for the minister, due to be completed in June.

"We are also supporting the acting minister, Ayesha Verrall, to understand the South-East Marine Protection Forum context and her decision-making role on the six marine reserve applications," she said.

"Once the advice is prepared, decisions on the proposed network sit with the Minister of Conservation, the Minister for Oceans and Fisheries and the Minister of Transport.

"We expect their decisions will be publicised once made."

The proposal to establish a network of marine reserves and protected marine areas along the southeast coast of the South Island includes six marine reserves, where marine life would be fully protected and fishing banned, to be administered by Doc.

It also includes five protected marine areas, which would impose a range of restrictions on fishing, and one kelp protection area, where commercial harvesting of bladder kelp would be prohibited.


I wish you all luck with establishing marine reserves which will benefit not just fish stocks but also the animals and birds that rely on them for food. I know this has been discussed for many years but what with commercial and recreation interests all totally opposed to any new restrictions, however beneficial, I'm afraid it will be once more dead in the water (excuse the pun).

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