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Poll reveals 'nearly 80% of NZers want bottom trawling banned on seamounts'

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Greenpeace Aotearoa is renewing its call for the New Zealand Government to ban bottom trawling on seamounts.

A recent Horizon poll shows there is overwhelming majority support among the New Zealand public for our call to ban destructive bottom trawling practices.

"Our new poll shows almost 80% of people agree that the Government should ban bottom trawling on these biodiversity hotspots, seamounts - both in our waters and in the South Pacific. The poll data shows across our differences, young or old, urban or rural, the public support for a ban is consistently strong," Greenpeace Aotearoa Oceans campaigner Ellie Hooper says.

"This is great news, as it shows the Government it has the public mandate to use its power to protect seamounts from bottom trawling."

The findings come ahead of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO) annual meeting this week, where member states will work to agree on fishing rules for the next year.

Hooper says "In this meeting our Government could recommend further bottom trawling restrictions to protect these richly biodiverse seamounts.

We know now that the New Zealand public are almost universally behind stronger protection. Yet historically, New Zealand’s representatives at these meetings have failed to represent this 80%. At last year’s meeting New Zealand officials advocated for more bottom trawling, and less protections of vulnerable seamounts. Aotearoa is also the only country in the last year to trawl on seamounts in this region."

More than 70,000 have signed petitions calling for bottom trawling to be banned from seamounts: https://greenpeace.nz/BBT

"The Government’s lack of action is at odds with what we can see New Zealanders want - more protection for the deep sea from destruction. When will they listen?"

Hooper says ocean protection is vital to the sustainability of marine life.

"A healthy ocean helps mitigate climate change, provides the oxygen we breathe and is a safe haven for amazing and diverse creatures. We must protect it.

It must be a priority for this Government to ensure that the ocean’s future is ensured through decisions they make now. They have the public mandate now to protect it, they just need the courage to act. Let’s call for a ban on bottom trawling and protect deep sea corals and the life that relies on them from harm."

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