10 Dec 2008

NZ Green Party urges government to support regional tuna conservation efforts

2:10 pm on 10 December 2008

The New Zealand Green Party is calling on the Fisheries Minister to support the Parties to Nauru Agreement and protect the dwindling tuna fisheries in the high seas of the Pacific.

A New Zealand delegation is attending the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission meeting in Korea this week to discuss - with other

Pacific nations - measures to protect Pacific fisheries resources.

Green Party Fisheries Spokesperson Metiria Turei says at a meeting in October New Zealand was the only country to oppose measures to prevent collapse of the fishing stocks.

Mrs Turei has called on the Minister to reverse New Zealand's previous decision and act as a responsible conservation steward in the region.

She says the new Minister should take the Pacific nations' concerns seriously at this weeks meeting because the sustainability of tuna stocks is at very serious risk unless urgent and immediate action is taken.

Mrs Turei says Pacific nations want the closure of the high seas in the Pacific to fishing and tightening of management rules.