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Bill To Protect Seabirds And Marine Mammals Defeated

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Metiria Turei
Metiria Turei

Wellington, July 29 NZPA - The Government has turned down a Green Party bill that would have strengthened the legal protection of seabirds and marine mammals.

Metiria Turei's Marine Animal's Law Reform Bill was defeated 63-58 after she made a passionate appeal for support.

Ms Turei held up pictures of dead seabirds, dolphins and seals which had been caught in fishing nets or hooked on lines.

"This is what we're talking about ... these animals are absolutely protected under the Wildlife Act but have no real protection because of the mess that is our marine legislation," she said.

"All these died because of poor industry regulation and failed legislative protection. Up to 10,000 albatross and petrels drown on tuna long lines in New Zealand waters every year."

National MP Colin King said his party respected the bill as a genuine attempt to address "some of the anomalies" that existed but would not support it.

"National prefers consultation with the industry and sector groups to deliver improvements, rather than regulating," he said.

"National would prefer to work with the industry to ensure the protection of marine life."

Labour, the Maori Party, United Future and the Progressive Party supported the bill. National and ACT voted against it.

NZPA

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