Welcome to Fish Forever's global and local news update for November 2015. First, we would like to acknowledge the life of a true legend of marine conservation, Bill Ballantine, who died this week, aged 78. Without his many years of advocacy work, Fish Forever may not have existed. You can read Vince Kerr's tribute to Bill Ballantine here.
It's been a big year for ocean sanctuaries. Palau has just approved a 500,000 sq km sanctuary. Earlier this month at "Our Ocean" conference, Chile announced a 630,000 sq km marine park surrounding Easter Island, and another smaller one around Desventurado or the San Felix Islands. The US also put forward proposals for protected “marine” areas in Maryland and Wisconsin and hinted at more substantial proposals to come.
This news followed John Key’s announcement at the UN General Assembly in late September that the Kermadec Marine Reserve would be increased from 7450 sq km to 620,000 sq km, extending it from the 12 nautical mile limit to the 200 nautical miles of New Zealand’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
These positive steps are clouded by the fifth consecutive failure to agree MPAs in Antarctica; in spite of China coming on board in support of the Ross Sea proposal, Russia continues to block progress.
Meanwhile, we continue to await the release of New Zealand's discussion paper that will address potential revisions to the Marine Reserves Act. In the near future, Fish Forever will explore in detail how this proposal might look, and how it could impact marine conservation in our coastal waters.
Back in the Bay of Islands…
Voice of Land and Sea: We're delighted to announce the launch of a series of engaging talks that will reveal fascinating aspects of the Bay of Islands ecological landscape, celebrate its uniqueness and challenge us to be guardians of it.
More information about this series will circulated soon, but put a date in your diary for the first of the series when Jochen Zaeschmar will present his research on False Killer Whales on Thursday 19 November, 6pm at the Scenic Hotel in Paihia.
Fish Forever Summer Festival of Exploration! We are also planning on setting a few challenges for those that like to get their feet wet. Have a look at Lena Huia's project for a clue. This summer programme will have elements suitable for children and families, as well as more experienced explorers. There will be more detail about this fun project soon.
In the meantime, we look forward to seeing you at the Bay of Islands Show on Saturday 14 November, in our usual spot.