Push for ma­rine re­serve

Marlborough Express - - FRONT PAGE -

which was put in place in 1971, makes it very dif­fi­cult to es­tab­lish a ma­rine re­serve,’’ she said.

So the group changed tack and de­cided it ‘‘wanted to get the ball rolling on pass­ing this new law’’, Siob­han Hem­ing­way said.

‘‘At only 17-years-old, I have al­ready seen a ma­jor de­crease in fish num­bers in my life­time,’’ Holly Wills said.

Grow­ing up they would catch and record many dif­fer­ent ma­rine species in the Marl­bor­ough Sounds, she said.

‘‘We would al­ways pull up lots of floun­der of large sizes but now we only get a few be­tween mul­ti­ple seines [nets] that are of av­er­age size but are still le­gal.’’

Wills said this had hap­pened since com­mer­cial boats started trawl­ing through sur­round­ing bays.

‘‘See­ing the ef­fect of hu­man ac­tiv­i­ties, at my age, makes me re­alise that the ocean’s fish stocks can­not be sus­tained in the man­ner we are us­ing it now,’’ she said.

‘‘I feel that it is im­por­tant to cre­ate sanc­tu­ar­ies where ma­rine species can re­plen­ish to com­pete with our pres­sures.’’

As­so­ciate en­vi­ron­ment min­is­ter Eu­gene Sage also re­ceived the let­ter and said she un­der­stood the stu­dents’ con­cerns.

‘‘Get­ting let­ters like this one from th­ese stu­dents from Marl­bor­ough Girls’ Col­lege is what makes this job so worth­while. Their re­search and com­mit­ment to pro­tect­ing our ma­rine en­vi­ron­ment is in­spi­ra­tional.’’

The stu­dents had been in­vited to present their re­port to the Marl­bor­ough District Coun­cil en­vi­ron­men­tal com­mit­tee in July.

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