New Zealand

Greenpeace welcomes Green Party commitment to ban bottom trawling – Greenpeace Aotearoa

Greenpeace is welcoming the robust Oceans Policy released by The Green Party this morning, while also reminding all political leaders that meaningful ocean protection is essential to stem the twin biodiversity and climate crises.

The Oceans Policy announced by the Greens this morning in Tāmaki Makaurau commits to banning bottom trawling on seamounts and in the Hauraki Gulf- Tīkapa Moana, alongside a range of other measures to support ocean health. 

“Greenpeace has for years been calling on political leaders to ban destructive bottom trawling from where it does the most harm so that the ocean has a chance to recover and thrive”, says Greenpeace Aotearoa programme director Niamh O’Flynn. 

“So we’re pleased to see The Green Party committing to protect ocean health by banning bottom trawling and calling for stronger ocean protection.

“Bottom trawling is a destructive fishing method that bulldozes the seafloor, leaving wastelands where there were once vibrant ecosystems, while also indiscriminately killing marine life – including coral, endangered seabirds like the hoiho and mammals such as sea lions.

“We already have the solution: ban bottom trawling from where it does the most damage, in fragile inshore areas like the Hauraki Gulf- Tīkapa Moana and on seamounts where slow growing, and often ancient coral species thrive and support a myriad of marine life.”

O’Flynn said while The Green Party’s ocean policy was strong, its ability to implement meaningful policy would ultimately come down to what the party chose to prioritise in any post-election negotiations.

O’Flynn said that urgently banning bottom trawling on seamounts and in the Hauraki Gulf marine park needed to be bottom lines for any coalition agreement that the Greens entered into. 

“We would like to remind political leaders that the public mandate for change is clear. Polling shows that the vast majority of New Zealanders oppose bottom trawling – with 84% wanting it gone from the Hauraki Gulf, and almost 80% agreeing it should be banned on seamounts. 

“We urge all political leaders to take bold action to protect the ocean from the threats of bottom trawling and other destructive human activities because our health, and the health of the planet are dependent on a thriving ocean.”

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