New Zealand’s Prime Minister, John Key has announced that 620,000 square kilometres of ocean within its exclusive economic zone will be protected with the declaration of the new Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary. Activities such as fishing and mining will be prohibited in the sanctuary.
The area covered by the sanctuary lies to the north east of the country towards Tonga and is home to at least 35 species of whale and dolphin as well as a host of other marine life and bird species.
The area also contains the world’s longest underwater volcanic arc and second deepest ocean trench. The announcement was made at this week’s meeting attended by Government heads at the United Nations in New York.
Humpback whale © Vanessa Mignon