We watch with interest as five new marine reserves are set to be established on the west coast of the South Islands, as announced by Minister of Conservation Kate Wilkinson and Fisheries Minister Phil Heatley at the end of last week. What effect will this have on other potential sites? Will this open the doors wider for more protected sites or is it the grand finale of marine protection for this government?
A meeting about aquaculture options for the Far North has set alarm bells ringing for conservation activist Dean Baigent-Mercer.
The Kaeo resident fears pristine coastal areas, such as Paradise Bay and Stephensons Island – out from Whangaroa Harbour – are being secretly targeted as locations for massive fish farms.
Firstly, congratulations to the community at Te Rawhiti who have maintained their own rahui at Maunganui Bay (also known as Deep water Cove) since 2009. The rahui finally has been accepted: "Pursuant to section 186a of the Fisheries Act 1996, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture has agreed to close Maunganui Bay to the take of all species of fish, aquatic life, or seaweed, with the exception of kina, for a period of two years from 1 December 2010 to 30 November 2012."
A THUMBS-DOWN for a marine reserve at Akaroa Harbour in the South Island is firing up an environmental group's campaign for no-take marine sanctuaries in the Bay of Islands. The Bay of Islands Maritime Park Group and its working group Fish Forever aim to raise the profile of the Akaroa case, and are, with other environmental bodies, seeking a judicial review. Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson declined the Akaroa application on the grounds that while a marine reserve might enhance nature tourism, she was not satisfied that this would outweigh adverse effects on recreational fishers.
"One bad decision by a conservation minister cann ot be allowed to undermine future marine protection," Fish Forever committee chairwoman Julie Kidman says.
“Half the world’s marine species wiped out in one generation! Marine life slashed by half since the 1970s. Ocean fish numbers on brink of collapse”
The headlines are screaming. Sure enough, WWF’s latest report, Living Blue Planet Report: Species, habitats and human well-being, tells a terrifying tale. The introduction, by Director General of WWF International, Marco Lambertini, is bewitching and uncompromising: “Our ocean – that seemingly infinitely bountiful, ever awe-inspiring blue that defines our planet from space – is in crisis.”
Sobering article about the plight of the Pacific Bluefin Tuna: How much will the last pacific bluefin tuna cost?
For some species no controls on catch or effort are likely to be enforceable or effective, and large MPAs are the only effective tool for conservation...
Continued reliance on a strategy of setting aside land and marine territories as "protected areas" is insufficient to stem global biodiversity loss, according to a comprehensive assessment published July 28 in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series.
Article taken from Science Daily, July 29 2011.
This review on the benefits of marine parks is essential reading for anyone engaging in the complex process of establishing a network of marine protected areas.
A photographic insight into the marine world / Dr Roger Grace
Seaweek event: Mon 28 Feb, 6pm Copthorne
A once in a lifetime opportunity to view images by international Greenpeace marine photographer and renowned marine biologist, New Zealander Dr Roger Grace. The show includes photographs from major international campaigns including Antarctica, set-netting, and a selection of ‘weird and wonderful’ marine life, gathered over a 20 year span.
An inspiring initiative led by Mäori and supported by Forest & Bird could create a way forward to protect marine life.
This article by Dean Baigent-Mercer features in Forest & Bird magazine this month drawing much needed attention to the plight of marine protection across New Zealand.