“The ocean is the largest ecosystem on Earth, it is the planet’s life support system and critical to our lifestyle, economy and as a food source.”
– Marine Conservation institute
New Zealand controls the world’s fourth largest coastal fishing zone. Our Exclusive Economic Zone of 4.1 million square kilometres supports a wide variety of marine species and our clean coastal waters are well suited to aquaculture and fishing.
Our marine environment is critical to the Māori economy with Kaimoana (fish, crustaceans, and molluscs) the top export commodity of Māori authorities in 2015.
Multiple human pressures are causing changes to New Zealand’s oceans, coastal marine habitats, and wildlife. In fact some sources predict that globally by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than marine life. These changes seriously affect how future generations will experience our marine environment. If we don’t act now it will be fundamentally altered with significant effects on our social, cultural and economic wellbeing.
Government and industry are implementing a range of activities to reduce impact on New Zealand’s marine environment. To slow – and ultimately halt – the decline of New Zealand’s marine environment, The Aotearoa Circle is calling for increased coordination across stakeholders to deliver greater impact.