7 Jul 2011

National oceans strategy urged

9:13 pm on 7 July 2011

The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research is warning of disastrous environmental effects if New Zealand does not introduce a strategy to manage its oceans.

Chairman Chris Mace says a national policy is urgently needed to balance competing pressures on the sea's resources.

Mr Mace says without a strategy, the cumulative effects on the environment could be catastrophic and eventually stifle any further economic growth from marine resources.

Marine management is fragmented, with agencies managing activities in a reactive way, he says.

The Environmental Defence Society has also called for better policy around ocean planning, suggesting an official inquiry is needed.