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Government scraps plan for Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary

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The New Zealand government has decided not to go ahead with the plan to create a big ocean sanctuary around the Kermadec Islands, an idea originally proposed by former Prime Minister Sir John Key in 2015. This sanctuary was meant to be a protected area in the ocean where fishing and other activities that could harm the environment would not be allowed.

The idea was to protect a unique part of the ocean, full of special sea life not found anywhere else, but it faced strong opposition. Some people who fish for a living and certain groups, including those with fishing rights from a 1992 agreement, didn’t agree with the plan. They were worried it would stop them from working and using the ocean resources they depend on.

Shane Jones, who looks after fishing matters in the government and is part of the NZ First party, announced that they’ve stopped all work on this ocean sanctuary plan. He mentioned that it didn’t make sense to them to turn such a big part of the ocean into a no-go zone, especially for those whose jobs involve the sea.

On the other side, people who study and care about the ocean, like Professor Jonathan Gardner from Victoria University, are quite disappointed. They believe the sanctuary would have protected a very special part of the ocean that’s still mostly untouched by fishing, offering a safe home for rare sea creatures.

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