New Zealand's oceans are home to an amazing variety of life, there are tens of thousands of species of seabirds, dolphins and whales, fish, corals and other wildlife. Our oceans are central to New Zealand's economy and our people's identity and way of life.
But right now they are under threat. Iconic species such as Hectors and Maui dolphins, blue whales, sea lions and albatross and petrels are endangered, with many more species being threatened. A quarter of our fish stocks are overfished and several fisheries have collapsed.
The oceans are also becoming warmer and more acidic because of climate change. Increasingly, oil & gas and mining companies are turning to our oceans to extract resources which is putting our marine life and habitats under even more pressure.
We need to look after our seas and marine wildlife now so New Zealanders can continue to enjoy the many benefits of having a healthty marine environment.
While we have made some great progress with the setting up of a Kermadec Ocean Sancturary, there is still more work to do, we need a network of marine protected areas to protect the health of our oceans.