New Zealand was one of the first countries in the world to embrace fully protected ‘no-take’ marine reserves. Established in 1977 the Cape Rodney to Okakari Point (Goat Island) Marine Reserve is our first, and probably most iconic. Today there are 44 fully protected marine reserves scattered around the mainland and our offshore islands. These predominantly cosy up to the coastline, providing protection for nearshore or shallow water environments.
Fully protected marine reserves offer respite for marine organisms and environments against the impacts of fishing, both commercial and recreational. By removing these pressures, the populations of targeted species are given a chance to recover. Over time the ecosystems within marine reserves should theoretically revert back to a more ‘normal’ state -