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Results of submissions for a community led marine reserve proposal for the Bay of Islands

Results of submissions for a community led marine reserve proposal for the Bay of Islands

Fish Forever, a local community group, is proposing two marine reserves and one scientific reserve for the Bay of Islands. The proposal was publicly launched in May 2014, through a Community Consultation Document that invited public submissions over a six-week period. Throughout the submission period, Fish Forever publicised the proposal and engaged with as many locals and stakeholders as possible.
This report presents the results of that community consultation process.
From over 1,300 submissions received, the overwhelming impression is of active community support for the proposal – both in general, and in the specific areas proposed. This clear mandate is vital to moving the proposal process forward.
The submissions also clarify the key areas of community concern about the proposals. These concerns focus on the relationship between marine reserves and other protective measures, like fisheries and customary management regulations, which need to be taken into account in long-term conservation planning for the Bay.

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EDS welcomes Labour’s Conservation Policy

EDS welcomes Labour’s Conservation Policy

The Environmental Defence Society has welcomed Labour’s Conservation Policy including the key objective of halting the current pattern of indigenous biodiversity decline within ten years.
“Labour has committed to completing the draft National Policy Statement on Indigenous Biodiversity as a matter of priority. This is welcome news. With biodiversity (including kiwi) continuing a rapid decline, we must identify national bottom lines for protecting biodiversity as soon as possible,” said EDS Executive Director Gary Taylor.

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Humpback whale visits Whangarei Harbour Marine Reserve

Humpback whale visits Whangarei Harbour Marine Reserve

The value of the marine reserves have been illustrated by a rare humpback whale being seen in the Reotahi reserve in Whangarei Harbour feeding on sprats.
Whangarei orca expert Ingrid Visser was delighted to spend about two hours with the whale in the harbour on Sunday, but was disappointed at the behaviour of some “idiot” boaties who breached the rules when they approached the giant marine mammal.
Dr Visser said the whale was just the second humpback seen in Whangarei Harbour in living memory - the last was in October 2010 - and a sign that the Reotahi reserve was working by having more marine life around it to then attract larger marine life.

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Akaroa Marine Reserve Opening

Akaroa Marine Reserve Opening

Sunday the 8th June,  World Oceans Day, was a very appropriate date for the formal opening of the Akaroa Marine Reserve.  Twenty years is a long time to consult, develop, apply and campaign for a marine reserve so it was a very happy day for the Akaroa community to finally see the reserve come into existence.
The Akaroa Marine Reserve is 512ha and covers the south-eastern area of Akaroa Harbour and extends eastwards towards Damons Bay.  The coastal scenery adjacent to the marine reserve is spectacular and the 275m Dan Rogers bluff dominates the landscape. 

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