Environmental indicator for marine: Marine areas with legal protection

This section provides information on the state of New Zealand's marine environment using the marine areas with legal protection environmental indicator.

Measures are in place to limit the impact of human activities on New Zealand's marine ecosystems, habitats and species. These include marine reserves, marine parks, several types of customary areas (mātaitai, taiapure and rāhui), fisheries closures, seasonal closures, cable protection zones, and marine mammal sanctuaries.

To be considered a Marine Protected Area, an area must have sufficient protection to meet the New Zealand Protection Standard. The standard requires an area to provide for “the maintenance or recovery of the site’s biological diversity at the habitat and ecosystem level to a healthy functioning state”. The above measures were assessed to determine whether they met the standard.

We report on marine areas with legal protection by assessing the percentage of:

  • New Zealand's Territorial Sea protected by Marine Protected Areas
  • each class of the Coastal Biogeographic Regions Classification protected by Marine Protected Areas (this shows the degree of protection given to different types of marine ecosystems).

The information in the latest indicator update supports the Marine Protected Areas Tier 1 official statistic released by the Department of Conservation and the Ministry for Primary Industries on 14 December 2012. Data in the indicator update is derived from the Marine Protected Areas Tier 1 statistic unless otherwise indicated.

Indicator updates

Other environmental indicators for marine

Marine areas with legal protection is one of two indicators we use to report on the state of New Zealand's marine environment. The other indicator is fishing activity. We use the suitability for swimming indicator to report on one of the values associated with coastal waters.

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