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Growing pressure on our marine environment

We have one of the largest exclusive economic zones (EEZ) in the world. Our marine environment is home to a large number of species that live nowhere else. But New Zealand’s oceans, coasts, and marine wildlife are under growing pressure.  

Greenhouse gas emissions are one of the greatest causes for concern. They are causing ocean acidification and warming – changes that will continue for generations. Most of our native marine birds and many mammals are threatened with extinction and New Zealand coastlines are becoming degraded from sedimentation and run off, introduced marine pests and seabed trawling and dredging.

Here at the Ministry, we work on everything from marine reserves, to aquaculture and managing space junk so that we can use our precious marine resource for generations to come. A sustainable marine environment is important for a healthy economy. In 2013, the marine economy contributed 1.9 percent, or $4 billion, to our gross domestic product.

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