Free content by Fresh Content.net

Wednesday, January 11

Ross Sea should be declared a Marine Protected Area

The Jung Woo 2 is the third ship to come to grief in the Ross Sea in little over a year and should serve as a wakeup call for the Government to close off the Ross Sea as a Marine Protected Area, the Green Party said today.

"In little over a year three fishing vessels - the Jung Woo 2, along with the Sparta and Number 1 In Sung which sink with 22 lives lost - have come to grief in the Ross Sea," Green Party Oceans spokesperson Gareth Hughes says.

"I am glad the injured crew have been rescued and the Sparta has arrived safe in New Zealand. However, I would not like them to continue fishing in the Ross Sea.

"This pristine environment must not be put at risk by old, single-hulled unsuitable fishing boats like these, that race to catch as much as they can despite the weather in the 'Olympic' style fishery.
"New Zealand is the largest fishing nation taking toothfish, yet we know very little about this top predator fish and it and its environment must be protected.

"Continuing the fishery in this dangerous environment further risks our green credentials given international supermarkets such as Safeways are boycotting New Zealand-caught toothfish.

"The Ross Sea, described as the "Last Ocean" by 500 international marine scientists campaigning for its future, must become a marine protected area.
"Boats like the Jung Woo 2 and the Sparta should have no place in these waters.

"With international negotiations determining the fate of the Ross Sea and other Antarctic waters occurring now, New Zealand can and must protect this pristine environment, unique marine life, and our valuable clean, green brand," Mr Hughes said.