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Massive boost to marine protection

Massive boost to marine protection as New Zealand announces Kermadec ocean sanctuary

New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key has announced the creation of a massive ocean sanctuary in the Kermadec region, a move applauded by conservationists for protecting one of the world’s most pristine marine environments.

WWF-New Zealand’s Chief Executive Chris Howe welcomed the news saying: “We congratulate the government for taking decisive action to protect this incredibly special area from mining and fishing.

“This decision puts New Zealand back at the forefront of marine protection on the global stage.”

Key made the announcement at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

The sanctuary will cover 620,000 square kilometres. The area is home to a significant number of threatened and endangered animals including whales, sharks, turtles and large ocean fish such as tuna, sunfish and marlin.

WWF-New Zealand has campaigned for more than eight years alongside the Pew Charitable Trust and Forest & Bird for the creation of the sanctuary.

“This ocean sanctuary is a major conservation victory and is testament to many years of hard work by thousands of New Zealanders,” says Howe.

“Together we’ve helped establish a large haven in the Pacific that will allow some of the ocean’s most exploited and threatened species to not only recover but flourish.”

The Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary is located in the South Pacific Ocean about 1,000 km northeast of the Bay of Plenty New Zealand. The area is one of the most geologically diverse in the world. It contains the world’s longest chain of submerged volcanoes and the second deepest ocean trench with a depth of 10 kilometres.

ENDS

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