What are healthy marine environments?
Healthy marine environments usually:
- have a wide variety of biodiversity
- have good water quality
- have little or no pollution
- have few or no introduced species.
Are our oceans healthy?
Ocean health is different around the planet. The unhealthiest parts of the sea are usually close to land. This is where people have lived and put sediments and pollutants into waterways. These have then flowed into the sea.
New Zealand's ocean habitats are quite healthy compared to other parts of the world. But there are also many coastal areas that have become less healthy over time.
How do marine reserves help ocean health?
Marine reserves help by reducing the number of species taken out of the ecosystem. This helps restore balance to the ecosystem. Balanced, healthy ecosystems can bounce back better from changes.
What is monitoring and what do we monitor?
- carrying out tests
- recording data.
Regular monitoring helps to see if oceans are healthy. It can also show changes.
How do scientists monitor marine reserve health?
Scientists use special equipment to measure the following qualities of marine environments:
- water quality
- which habitats are present
- numbers of seafood species
- the presence marine pests
- surrounding land use
- numbers of threatened species.
Scientists also monitor marine species and habitat changes over time to measure ecosystem health.
- See: www.doc.govt.nz/little-penguin-monitoring for an example.
- Ready for a quiz? Try The Health of Marine Environments activity.