Our Seas Our Future says More Marine Reserves are needed
Our Seas Our Future (OSOF) is encouraged at the announcement of protection proposed for south-eastern South Island by
the South-East Marine Protection Forum
, with the choice of the larger area of protection favoured.
OSOF has been an active voice in addressing the global climate crisis through our More Marine Reserves
brand, and overall mission to protect New Zealand’s coastal and marine ecosystems.
With less than one percent of New Zealand’s marine environment fully protected and with no marine reserves currently in
the South Canterbury, Otago and Southland regions, a comprehensive network of Marine Reserves and Marine Protected Areas
is essential to allow fish and other marine species a chance to thrive. Such a network will provide species in the
region with some resilience from human impacts and this will in turn benefit the region as a whole.
The South East bio-region is home to some of the New Zealand’s most iconic marine animals, including yellow-eyed
penguins, Hector’s dolphins, New Zealand sea lions, and various species of albatross. Many of these species are
While we applaud the choice of option for the larger area of protection, it does not include enough “No-Take” Marine
Reserves, that offer the highest protection for ecosystem protection. We want to see all indiscriminate bulk fishing
methods, marine farms and mining be prohibited in all the MPAs, and a much larger proportion of fully protected Marine
Reserves included in this option.
“No Take” Marine Reserves are most effective where they include the full range of habitats. We want to see protection
for habitats that are not adequately represented in the proposed network. The network must include enough no-take Marine
Reserves that are big enough to provide a meaningful haven and maintain full ecosystem functions.
OSOF Spokesperson Noel Jhinku said “With less than 1% of New Zealand’s marine environment protected, we are still far
off any meaningful level of biodiversity and ecosystem protection in our oceans.”
“This is a step in the right direction, however these opportunities should make every effort to ensure effective areas
of full protection are included, to provide substantial networks of “No Take” Marine Reserves rather than other types of
As strong advocates for marine and coastal sustainability, OSOF is supportive of the action that is underway to increase
protection of our marine and coastal biodiversity in the face of the global biodiversity crisis identified by the United
Nations-backed panel called the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)