An environmental tragedy unfolds

New Zealand has turned its back on the US and the opportunity to jointly propose a Ross Sea Marine Protected Area (MPA). The joint proposal would have been presented to CCAMLR in November of this year. The US wanted stronger conservation values – which New Zealand has not agreed to – an indication of our Government’s position on this issue. That position has not been officially presented, but one can only assume it will be more of the same – continued commercial fishing and the destruction of what is the most pristine marine ecosystem on Earth.

This decision is an environmental tragedy with no consideration for future generations. Short term profits have overridden the opportunity to protect this last untouched ocean and in doing so create a place for the world to celebrate, to share, and study what scientists refer to as our last ‘living laboratory’. This is a move that could potentially generate far more revenue for New Zealand than any fishery ever would.

This lack of foresight is an embarrassment, when New Zealand could have provided global leadership. I was also disappointed that only one member from this Government made the effort to see my film The Last Ocean.

On this day I do not feel proud to be a Kiwi.

The Last Ocean film has a general release in New Zealand starting from September 6th.

Adélie penguins are one of only two species of true Antarctic penguins and they are the southernmost breeding birds in the world. Photo by John B. Weller.

12 thoughts on “An environmental tragedy unfolds

  1. I read how our supporters say its all about money. And it is. On other issues such as rock lobster inequities in Gisborne, NZ., by way of a unfair smaller (and illegal size for the public) commercial always win the day. Commercial’s “day” has been going now for twenty years. The public and Tourism want inequities gone but the mighty dollar and a MPI have blinkers on, and look after commercial fishing above all what the people want and are deprived of a feed of crayfish. The Ross sea is the same problem, all be it a huge one. All very sad but I think the only answer is being united and having one big strong voice. Keep up the good work and just know your work is very much appreciated, often by those who prefer to say nothing because they are affraid to step out of line.

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  3. I very much understand and appreciate how this devastating decision by Cabinet will affect all those who have battled long and hard to protect the Ross Sea. Of course the real losers are the environment and the fish stocks. Will Cabinet reveal what the basis of their decision is, who voted which way etc? As individuals and part of the concerned community, we need to know this. I too, feel ashamed to be a kiwi today.

      • I agree, it would be great to find out how the discussion went. My feeling was that Minister McCully had good intentions but would have been facing strong oppostion from David Carter the Minister of all the fish belong to us, Steven Joyce Minister of Development at whatever the cost and Gerry Brownlee, the Minister of Exploitation.

  4. I too, hang my head in shame to be a Kiwi today, I have always been proud of my country but this lack of foresight cleary shows me and the rest of the world that New Zealand has lost its way and the almighty DOLLAR has won over comon sense.

  5. I am blown aware at the short sightedness of the New Zealand government; but not surprised by their decision as everything revolves around money. We have the rest of the bloody ocean to fish from and the so called guardians of fishing trawlers are a joke. Just watch The Last Ocean – it’ll give you a real insight into what really goes on. See their website for details of all the cinemas now showing it

    A flourishing economy needs a flourishing environment on which to thrive. Keep the pressure on. We have just seven weeks (23rd October 2012) until CCAMLR (commission for conservation of Antarctic Marine Life Resources) decide on the fate of the Antarctic.

    Sign the petition on the Antarctic Ocean Alliance website; Share with absolutely everyone you know.

    Here’s a link to CCAMLR site where you’ll find all the members. Write to the one that represents your country.

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