Marine conservation non-profit Our Seas Our Future (OSOF), has today launched a new petition, calling for the protection of at least 30 percent of our oceans by 2030, or 30 by 30.
The petition urges the New Zealand government to take immediate and drastic action to preserve the ocean and establish 30% of Aotearoa’s oceans as Marine Reserves by 2030. The petition can be signed here.
OSOF representative, Noel Jhinku says there is a growing body of evidence worldwide that the establishment of networks of marine protected areas can significantly improve the health of marine ecosystems.
“New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) covers around 4.2 million square kilometres of ocean which is fifteen times more than our total land area, but we currently only protect less than one percent of our oceans.
“From pollution, to overfishing, to destructive fishing methods, our oceans are under enormous threat, and these effects are only compounded by climate change. Establishing a robust network of marine reserves is one of the most important things we can do to mitigate these threats and preserve our waters.”
“Marine protected areas are proven to build resiliency in our ocean. They can reduce stress on fish stocks, which are already incredibly under pressure with many species facing the risk of being wiped out. Aotearoa has marine species found only in our waters, including the Hector’s and Maui dolphins, Blackfoot paua, and New Zealand’s black corals. Marine protected areas can also contribute to fish stocks outside the reserve areas, especially when fish, eggs or larvae move across boundaries and establish a population outside the reserve.”
“Our oceans are our life support system. We rely on it for food, it produces over half the world’s oxygen we breathe, it provides us with jobs and it helps to regulate our climate.”
In 2016, the International Union for Conservation of Nature called for a global goal of 30% protection of the world’s oceans in MPAs by 2030.
“Across the globe, leaders and nations including the United States are committing to protecting 30 percent of their oceans by 2030, the New Zealand’s government needs to make its own bold commitment with action or we face the risk of losing incredible species and the biodiversity that creates sustainable and healthier futures for everyone.”