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The Green Party’s complicity on the Government’s decision to defer electronic monitoring on commercial fishing vessels is a failure and an example of very weak advocacy for our critically threatened marine species, National Conservation Spokesperson Maggie Barry says.

“The National Government’s planned introduction of GPS and camera monitoring of fishing vessels next year would be a significant step forward in better protecting treasured marine species like dolphins and sea lions as well as preventing fish dumping,” Ms Barry says.

“Labour’s decision to defer the introduction of the new protective measure will see more marine life killed and is a significant setback for conservation.

“Maui and Hector's Dolphin Defenders NZ Chairwoman, Christine Rose, has described the decision as a “fatally flawed” and a “huge setback for conservation” and showed the new Government “to be no friend of science or conservation.”

“The new Conservation Minister and this Government have has caved into fishing industry lobbying and the influence of New Zealand First. On its first significant conservation decision and the Green Party is complicit and missing in action instead of advocating strongly for our threatened dolphins.

“The irony is that the new Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced in Parliament last week that she would be a strong voice for conservation. Instead, she supports delaying electronic surveillance which will inevitably result in more dolphin and sea lion deaths as a result of her inaction and weak advocacy.

“Ms Sage needs to explain exactly how this decision to defer safeguard will better protect New Zealand’s iconic marine species.”

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