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Home arrow Articles by Topic arrow Economic benefits arrow New Zealand Coastal Reserves - Blue Haven
New Zealand Coastal Reserves - Blue Haven PDF Print
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Articles - Economic benefits
Written by Kennedy Warne, National Geographic   
Thursday, 28 October 2010

New Zealand marine reserves are a model for the world.

Rolling a fresh cigarette, Bill Ballantine gives a sardonic laugh as he recalls the headline when New Zealand's first marine reserve was opened in 1977—"Nothing to do at Goat Island Bay any more." He had fought for 12 years to protect two square miles (five square kilometers) of marine habitat on the coast of Northland, a region of the North Island. That protection was finally in place. To Ballantine it was the start of a new era. To the local newspaper, voicing community opposition, it was the end of one.

"A hundred thousand people a year coming to look at fish—who saw that coming?

At issue was the reserve's no-take status. This stretch of sea was to be totally free from human interference. That meant no line fishing. No spearfishing. No hooking a lobster out of its lair. No prying off a clump of rock oysters. No reason, as far as the newspaper was concerned, for any red-blooded, outdoors-loving Kiwi man, woman, or child to bother coming to Goat Island anymore.

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