Protecting our sub-tropical paradise
In September 2016, the NZ government confirmed that it will progress the Kermadec/Rangitāhua Ocean Sanctuary in face of opposition from the fishing industry for protection of this ecologically-important area.
A 2016 Colmar Brunton poll shows 89% of New Zealanders support the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary.
A free Kermadec Science Symposium 'Discoveries & Connections' was held at the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts, Wellington, April 2016.
As a major step forward in marine conservation, the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary Bill was formally introduced to Parliament – March 2016. This is a great result following a long campaign by WWF supporters. Find out more here.
Why is the area so special?
The Kermadec Islands, Arc and Trench have been identified as globally important marine areas. They are home to an incredible marine wildlife such as whales, sharks, turtles, and large ocean fish such as tuna, sunfish and marlin. Huge submarine volcanoes rise from the ocean depths; the largest of these break the surface to form the islands which are a haven for threatened species.
Unique wildlife and geology
Unique animals live around the hydrothermal vents. Instead of depending on energy from the sun, specialised creatures feed off bacteria that live off the hydrogen sulphide that spews from the vents, known as ‘black smokers’.
New Zealand in the Pacific
The area is unique within the New Zealand EEZ, reaching north up towards the Pacific Islands. The species, ecological communities and habitats of the Kermadec Arc area tie us most closely with our Pacific neighbours.
The Kermadec Islands played an important historic role as ‘stepping stones’ linking Polynesian travellers to Aotearoa/New Zealand.
Under international maritime laws NZ was fortunate to be allocated the fifth largest EEZ and this is currently being expanded through the mapping of the continental shelf. We have a global obligation to protect some of this inheritance on behalf of future generations.
The benefits of increased protection
Find out more.