New Zealand creates a marine reserve twice as big as its own land mass

Eco Magazine and the Otago Daily Times report 29th September 2015: The waters around the Kermadec Islands to the north of New Zealand will become one of the largest ocean sanctuaries in the world, Prime Minister John Key has announced at the United Nations.

“This is an area twice the size of our land mass and 50 times the size of our largest national park. It is truly a special place, and we want to keep it that way,” Mr Key said from New York. “The new sanctuary will preserve the home of a huge range of species — millions of sea birds and whales and dolphins, endangered turtles and thousands of species of fish and other marine life will be better protected.”

New Zealand creates a

Mr Key said the sanctuary would mean no fishing, commercial or recreational, and no prospecting or mining in the area.

As well as marine life, the sanctuary would protect the ocean floor, Mr Key said. “The Kermadecs contain the world’s largest underwater volcanic arc, and the second deepest ocean trench at 10km deep mdash; deeper than Mt Everest is tall.”

Mr Key said he thought in decades to come New Zealanders would judge the decision to set-up the sanctuary as the right one, just as today’s generations viewed the establishment of national parks such as Fiordland and Tongariro.

The sanctuary will cover 620,000 sq km — an area twice the size of New Zealand. Minister for the Environment, Nick Smith, said New Zealand had committed to having 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas conserved by 2020, and already had 9.7 per cent of its territorial sea (within 12 nautical miles) protected.

Ten new marine reserves were created last year: around the sub-Antarctic islands, Akaroa, Kaikoura and the West Coast, making a total of 44 marine reserves.

Sources: Eco Magazine and Otago Daily Times, 29th September 2015. For the full texts, see

Please do share this

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS