NZ’s Ross Sea efforts ‘a disgrace’, says discoverer’s descendent

Posted: 09/24/2012 in all marine news

Rebecca Quilliam – 

The great-great-great-granddaughter of the man who discovered the Ross Sea says the New Zealand Government is destroying her legacy by failing to protect one of the last intact marine ecosystems in the world.

British naval officer and polar explorer Sir James Clarke Ross discovered the sea in 1841.

There are tight regulations on fishing – including strict quota and reporting requirements on catch and bycatch – in Antarctica, which is still treated as an exploratory fishery.

But Ross’s great-great-great-granddaughter Philippa Ross said the delicate environment was being threatened by government policies.

Earlier this month the Government rejected a proposal from the United States for a marine reserve that would have offered greater protection than New Zealand wanted for the Antarctic toothfish in the Ross Sea.

New Zealand companies take a large proportion of the annual Ross Sea toothfish catch – last year they landed 730 tonnes with an export value of $20 million.

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