It’s a big responsibility looking after our oceans. Did you know we have an area of water more than fifteen times the size of New Zealand’s land mass in our care? And that includes all the marine life within it!
Our Marine Reserves Act has a set of rules that help us to manage some of our ocean biodiversity. Marine reserves only make up a very small part of the ocean in our care and many more are needed as they are vital for keeping our ocean ecosystems in tip top condition. They help to keep our fish stocks healthy and are a sanctuary for our weird and wonderful species that live in our waters, some of which aren’t found anywhere else on the planet.
But there is a far bigger problem! The government is looking to update this important piece of legislation as it’s over 40 years old and out of all this ocean that’s under our care, only 4% is included in the new Marine Protected Areas Act discussion paper. This 4% makes up 12 nautical miles around our coastline, but the area that we look after extends another 200 nautical miles out to sea and this hasn’t been included in the Act. The fewer areas we have that are protected the easier it is for our marine life to swim out of these areas and be at risk. There’s no sign to tell them they’ve swum out of a protected area and into that one that isn’t protected! So what can we do? We need to ask the government to include all of the ocean in the Act, including the other 96% which makes up the Exclusive Economic Zone or EEZ for short.
Have your say and ask the government to include all the ocean in the Act when it gets updated later this year.
We have until 5pm on Friday March 11th to tell them. Get your friends, your class and your school to do it too!
Click on this link and send your message. You can write your own submission or you can cut and paste KCC’s submission and add your name to it instead.
Dear Ministers responsible for the Marine Protected Area discussion document,
Scientists are telling us that the more we protect our oceans the better it is for everyone. Please make sure that the Marine Protection Areas Act includes the Exclusive Economic Zone. We have a duty to manage the oceans in our care in a responsible way. Please include all 100% of the ocean we manage in the Marine Protection Areas Act so that our biodiversity is protected, for me and for future generations.
(I have permission from a caregiver who is over 18 years in age)