Marine reserves

January 9th, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Conservation Minister Nick Smith says he aims to establish a record number of around the coast this year as protecting the offshore environment becomes his top priority.

Dr Smith said that if he successfully signed off eight reserves within this financial year “it will be an all-time record”.

The minister yesterday released reports which showed the value of two marine reserves in Nelson. Some fish stocks such as blue cod had increased by a factor of 40 in Tonga Island Marine Reserve over 20 years. Crayfish stocks had increased by a factor of seven. …

Historically, most of the Department of Conservation’s focus has been on protecting land.

But because 70 per cent of this country’s native species were found in the ocean, Dr Smith said he was placing more emphasis on offshore projects.

“The marine environment is the new frontier for conservation and it’s an area I do want to make more progress this year,” he said.

The National-led Government has a goal of having 10 per cent of New Zealand’s waters covered by marine reserves.

Marine reserves are actually good for fishing also, as it allows stocks to grow, and then they move into areas where you can fish them :-)

The addition of the new reserves would mean that 9.56 per cent of its territorial waters – the area out to 12 miles from the coast – was protected.

This figure was considered misleading by some.

Green Party oceans spokesman Gareth Hughes said that if the entire Exclusive Economic Zone was taken into account, just 0.41 per cent of New Zealand waters was a no-take zone.

In comparison, a third of New Zealand’s land was protected by DoC.

Mr Hughes has tabled a bill that would establish a reserve in the Kermadec Islands.

Dr Smith said greater research was required on the economic losses and conservation gains of the proposal, which would be the the world’s largest no-fishing zone.

Personally I’m a supporter of the proposed Kermadec Islands marine reserve.

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10 Responses to “Marine reserves”

  1. duggledog (1,582 comments) says:

    Whole hearted support from this keen fisherman!

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  2. J Bloggs (250 comments) says:

    Marine reserves are actually good for fishing also, as it allows stocks to grow, and then they move into areas where you can fish them :-)

    I have heard an anecdote from a diver who said it was easy to spot the boundaries of one marine reserve while underwater as it was ringed with crayfish pots for just that reason. Best argument ever for marine reserves.

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  3. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    Communist control of what should be private property…no thanks.

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  4. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Can someone just slap that knuckle head Garth Hughes.

    One of the reason the DOC estate is so huge is because they have been buying up stations and letting them revert to gorse, one of the reason the DOC estate is so huge is because it includes large swathes of the Southern Alps and some volcanoes.

    DOC are an insidious untrustworthy blight, they bullshit constantly (1080 anyone) they are loaded with lefty control freaks. This used to be the Forest Service now its a controlling mechanisim . I have zero time for DOC

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  5. adamsmith1922 (890 comments) says:

    I don’t think clowns are a protected species. In fact there is an oversupply of Green ones

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  6. Longknives (4,858 comments) says:

    “Green Party oceans spokesman Gareth Hughes”

    What the hell is an “Oceans Spokesman”?
    And shouldn’t that be ‘Spokesperson’??

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  7. Ed Snack (1,925 comments) says:

    I’m all in favour of Gareth as “Oceans Spokesperson” and I think he should spend a lot more time specifically in his portfolio area. He should get into it as deeply as he can…

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  8. Bill Ted (93 comments) says:

    Gareth Hughes is an idiot, but the Government is seriously missing a trick by not getting the global kudos for establishing the world’s largest marine reserve in the Kermedecs. It’s a no-brainer. The next Labour Government will do it so it’s stupid for National to try and leave it open for future mineral exploration that’s never going to happen. Guarantee the geniuses Brownlee and Joyce are the biggest roadblocks. I’d put my house on it.

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  9. Colville (2,298 comments) says:

    Back when I SCUBAed a lot…one of my fave dives was a drift thru the Kapiti Island reserve …. blow along at maybe 5 kms/hr and duck out of the current to chill with the fishies ,… lots to see… relly unique HUGE rocks down there at the south end that you can go under… and at the end of the dive spend 10 mins grabbing a bug or two for tea…

    spend the second dive in shallow in a kelp bed feeding the cod on kina… probably wasnt meant to be killing kina but who will ever know :-)

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  10. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    And shouldn’t that be ‘Spokesperson’??

    Quite. Those who advocate participation in the Crown’s politics are best described as persons, not men.

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