What is a marine reserve?
A marine reserve is a protected area of the sea. They include habitats such as estuaries, rocky and sandy shores, mangrove forests, reefs and open ocean. Laws protect all species in a marine reserve. You can’t fish or take any animals or plants from the reserve. Also protected are non-living things such as sand, shells and rocks.
Why are marine reserves important?
Marine reserves protect some of our special habitats, plants and animals. They are safe places where native animals can live, breed and grow.
Marine reserves help to:
- protect biodiversity
- boost the numbers of fish and food species
- allow people to study untouched marine environments
- protect ecosystems from any threats
- increase recreation and tourism for New Zealand.
Who looks after our marine reserves?
The Department of Conservation (DOC) looks after marine reserves in New Zealand. Local councils and volunteers help DOC.
Where are our marine reserves?
There are marine reserves around the coast of New Zealand and some offshore islands.
- Ready for a quiz? Try the Marine Reserves Defined activity.