Take a look at marine sentinel sites this Seaweek

Department of Conservation —  07/03/2019

The Department of Conservation (DOC) is working with partners Air New Zealand and Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) to take you on a virtual journey to check out the new developments in marine research this Seaweek (2-9 March).

Earlier this year DOC visited the first marine Sentinel Site at Kapiti Island to film some of the in-depth research happening that will broaden our knowledge of New Zealand’s marine environment.

Kapiti Marine Reserve survey 2015

Kapiti Marine Reserve survey 2015 📷: Vincent Zintzen ©

New Zealand’s marine environment is massive, over 15 times the size of our land. Despite this, the research community is relatively small and there are limited resources for carrying out marine science. With support from Air New Zealand, DOC are developing 10 marine Sentinel Sites around New Zealand as centres of collaborative research and monitoring. These sites will allow DOC to foster scientific collaboration, to help build a picture of the overall state of our marine environment.

“It’s through partnerships like this with the Department of Conservation that we can help expand knowledge on our marine ecosystems here in New Zealand.”

“With 80 percent of New Zealand’s indigenous biodiversity estimated to be underwater, a better understanding of the impacts of human activity on our marine environments helps establish more targeted responses to protect marine biodiversity, ensuring we can maintain our precious marine environments for generations to come,” says Lisa Daniell, Head of Sustainability at Air New Zealand.

Kapiti Marine Reserve is the first Sentinel Site with research underway to take a closer look at our coastlines, species (or lack of species) and the influence of human induced pressures. Research is also getting underway in Long Bay – Okura Marine Reserve, Auckland, the second sentinel site in the network.

“Gathering in-depth information from a specific area – a sentinel site – will hopefully help us understand the wider area and inform decisions to better manage our marine environment. It’s exciting to have this opportunity to take a closer look at our unique marine environment,” says Laura Wakelin, Technical Advisor Marine, DOC.

This knowledge will feed back into management decisions that will benefit not just the marine reserves, but the wider coastal environment.

Watch the Kapiti Island Marine Sentinel Site Video to learn more: