WWF-New Zealand CEO Dr Kayla Kingdon-Bebb:
“WWF-New Zealand welcomes the launch of the Fisheries Industry Transformation Plan (ITP) today. We are pleased the industry recognises it must play a larger role in protecting our environment. This is an important step to create the fishing industry needed for the 21st Century – one that minimises destructive environmental impact while providing for communities and the wider economy of Aotearoa.
Aotearoa New Zealand has a vast maritime area of over 4,083,000 square kilometres – one of the 10 largest in the world, and 15 times larger than our land mass. Our economy relies on the ocean, with a total of $7.4 billion directly related to sectors active in the marine environment. Critically, our ocean is estimated to support 80% of New Zealand’s biodiversity.
A healthy ocean is central to the wellbeing of all New Zealanders and the wider Pacific. It is critical for future generations.
To meet the demands of the future and to ensure we are protecting our unique biodiversity and reducing climate impacts, the ITP needs to be more ambitious. The plan lacks clear targets and timeframes for key changes to reduce the environmental footprint of commercial fisheries, including a transition away from bottom-impacting methods.
Overall, WWF-New Zealand supports the intention of the ITP to transition the fishing industry into a model for how fisheries can be undertaken with minimising environmental impact as a first priority. However, it needs to be much more ambitious to achieve this goal and genuinely address the significant environmental impacts of fishing.
We look forward to working with industry and government to implement the guidance and principles embodied in the ITP, recognising it is an important step towards achieving a sustainable future for our commercial fisheries.”
To read our full submission: