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Descendants of Sir James Clark Ross talk about Ross Sea protection

Gareth Hughes MP
Gareth Hughes MP
gareth [dot] hughes [at] parliament [dot] govt [dot] nz (Email)

On 6 September 2012, the New Zealand Government announced it would reject a US offer to set up a co-operative marine reserve in the Ross Sea and put forward its own proposal, which would continue to allow for intensive fishing.Last week we sat down with the descendants of the man who this ocean was named after; Sir James Clark Ross.

Footage courtesy of Peter Young, director of The Last Ocean - check out the full film here:


Dominic: They're just looking at the short term money-making schemes, but they should be looking at the next generation.

Philippa: He's my great, great, great grandfather.

Dominic: He was the man that sailed from England down to the Antarctic and hoped to discover the South Pole. On the way he found the Ross Sea.

Antonia: The Ross Sea is a big part of our lives, as a last, you know, ecosystem. We should be doing more about it.

Dominic: I was angry and disappointed about it. Because they should be protecting the whole area, not just parts that they want to protect, and leaving key fishing areas open.

Antonia: If he was alive right now I think he would be pretty disappointed as well, the fact that he's gone out there and done all that exploring, pretty much for no reason now, like it's just going to be destroyed if everything keeps going the way it is.

Philippa: And it was the U-turn as well, you know, McCully actually said in the film, the fact that you know he'd like to think we'd lead the change, but a typical politician they say one thing and do something else.

Well, it is the last intact, you know, ecosystem and instead of being used for commercial fishing and exploitation like we've seen in the Artic, it should be keep pristine, and used as a, used as climate research because it has been untouched for so long, it hasn't had all of the pollutants and everything from humankind.

Philippa: Just looking at fishing I mean, look at the history of fishing and the effects that it has had on the environment, what is wrong in keeping this beautiful place, because at the end of the day as far as I can see the bottom line is money.

Antonia: The fact that I thought New Zealand was supposed to be the clean green country and we were supposed to be, you know, supporting everything else - I think that if America can, you know, give us a proposal like that then I think it's pretty stupid that we turned it down.

Dominic: I think - he went all that way to show how beautiful this world actually is, and we can't just keep taking and taking and taking and expect things to be running as normal.

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