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Wellington, New Zealand (UPI) May 16, 2012
New Zealand must do more research before exploiting marine resources, the country's national scientific academy warned.
Scientific data about the impact such exploitation would have on ocean ecosystems is lacking, The Royal Society of New Zealand said Tuesday.
The country's fisheries were cited as an example of how natural resources should be scientifically managed, as unrestricted fishing damaged the ocean ecosystems and the fishing industry until a quota system introduced in 1986 saved both the fish populations and the fishing, the society said.
"The same strong management will be needed for other marine resources," Jez Weston, senior policy analyst at the society, said in a statement.
"That management will need to be underpinned by sound science so that policy-makers can be informed about the cumulative impacts of use, how vulnerable ecosystems are and to understand how people value and use marine ecosystems."
The society's warning comes as the government is going ahead with plans to open up New Zealand waters to greater oil and gas exploration, Xinhua reported.
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