Marine Protected Areas
Aotearoa’s ocean is home to around 65,000 species and is responsible for about 80% of our indigenous biodiversity. Yet less than 1% of our marine and coastal biodiversity is fully protected compared with over 30% of our land.
We need to create Marine Protected Areas (MPA) that conserve at least one third of each habitat within a network of effectively managed areas. We believe our network of MPA should uphold the rights of indigenous and local communities and include Māori cultural practice.
In December 2022, the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) was adopted by Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity. They committed to the "30x30" target. A commitment to protect and conserve 30% of the world’s land, freshwater and ocean by 2030.
It’s essential Aotearoa is committed to reaching this goal. A thriving, resilient ocean is possible, if we work together!
WWF is working with government, business, industry, fisheries, iwi, hapū, and communities to ensure future generations can benefit from a thriving and resilient ocean. We strongly advocate for 30% of our ocean to be protected by 2030. And have for many years been campaigning for the establishment of the Kermadec Rangitāhua Ocean Sanctuary.
Why do MPA matter?
Marine Protected Areas are protected from extractive impacts, such as fishing and mining. However, people can still swim in and enjoy these areas.
For MPA to provide full benefits, we must also prevent pollution from land-based sources and have effective management, monitoring, and governance systems in place. When MPA are created in an effective network, they help our ocean to be resilient to climate change, protect biodiversity, and can provide the foundation for sustainable fisheries.
MPA support fisheries through the ‘spill over’ of fish from inside the area swimming outside. They also benefit fisheries through allowing fish to grow to their maximum size, producing exponentially more eggs than smaller fish. Many of these eggs will travel outside the MPA and populate other areas.