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The future of New Zealand’s marine resources


21 August 2012

The future of New Zealand’s marine resources

Professor Jonathan Gardner, a marine biologist at Victoria University, will give his inaugural professorial lecture next week on marine reserves in Zealand.

His lecture will explore the importance of marine protected areas, with particular reference to New Zealand’s unique position as a country with a marine environment 15 times larger than its terrestrial area. He will also discuss how we might better ensure the protection of our marine biodiversity.

Professor Gardner is an international expert on the establishment and management of marine reserves. He is based in Victoria University’s School of Biological Sciences where he is Professor of Marine Biology. He has extensive research expertise in the fields of marine protected areas, biodiversity conservation and population genetics, and is a long-time activist in marine protection.

“The biodiversity that future generations of New Zealanders will inherit depends very much on the decisions that we make now to safeguard our unique species and our country's wealth of marine resources,” says Professor Gardner.

Professor Gardner joined the Science Faculty as lecturer in marine biology at Victoria University in 1994. He was an active member of the South Coast Marine Reserve Coalition, a group that promoted the establishment of a full ‘no take’ marine reserve on Wellington’s South Coast—and eventuated in the creation of the Taputeranga Marine Reserve in 2008.

Professor Gardner says: “With ever-increasing pressure on marine resources in coastal and oceanic regions, marine protected areas are one way to help conserve biodiversity and to allow heavily fished species to recover from human activities.”

“Setting aside areas of the sea as 'no take' zones makes perfect sense in a world where almost no part of the sea is now free from human exploitation.”

Victoria University Vice-Chancellor Professor Pat Walsh says Victoria’s inaugural lecture series is an excellent opportunity for professors to share insights into their specialist areas of study with family, friends, colleagues and the local community.

“Inaugural lectures are also an excellent opportunity for the University to celebrate and acknowledge our valued professors,” says Professor Walsh.

Professor Gardner’s expertise in marine reserves was recognised last year, when he was awarded the 2011 NZ-UK Link Foundation Visiting Professorship based at University College London, and was appointed Professor of Marine Biology at Victoria University.

Inaugural lecture—Professor Jonathan Gardner

‘New Zealand’s marine protected areas—just how well are they working?’

Tuesday 28 August 2012, 6pm

Hunter Council Chamber, Level 2, Hunter Building

Victoria University, Kelburn Parade, Wellington


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