Marine Reserves The New Zealand Experience Compiled by Bill Ballantine Leigh Marine Laboratory, University of Auckland
Little Barrier Island – 1st land reserve 1888Leigh – 1st marine reserve 1975
Marine reserves are pieces of the sea that are left undisturbed so that - • They continue in their natural state • Or recover towards the natural state
The problem is we do not know much about life in the sea – it is out of sight
If we have places in the sea where there are no disturbances – would these marine reserves have any use?
But even well-meant disturbances matter –like people feeding fish
Do we believe the fish counts that show more fish in the reserve than outside?
Results of 4 surveys for snapper Inside the reserve
Cheaper Easier No harm to fish So taken to many other places including the Poor Knights Islands
Movement matters Fish can be tracked with acoustic tags
With the first two marine reserves we learnt important new things about snapper – although snapper were the best studied fish
Heavily fished species increase inside marine reserves but this is only the start of the story -