ODT: Easiest option on marine reserves

An editorial in the Otago Daily Times discusses the news that the government will establish three large marine reserves, and why it is significant.

However, it also cautions that the news cannot necessarily be taken as a sign that the pace of marine preservation is improving.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“Areas around the sub-Antarctic groups at Antipodes Island, Campbell Island, and the Bounty islands, will be given protection, involving 435,000 hectares.

“That sounds substantial, and it is, although it is relatively minute in terms of the scale of New Zealand’s marine zone.

“Nevertheless, environmentalists will welcome the decision.

“These are places few New Zealanders will visit, although there is said to be an increasing demand from the eco-tourism industry.

“There will be satisfaction in that arrangements have been made with the fishing industry – probably the most frequent visitors to these islands – with prohibitions agreed on one type of particularly harmful seine fishing and a review of the impact of the beginning crab fishery in five years.

“It is relevant, too, that the protections will prevent oil exploration within the reserves.”