What can you do and not do in a marine reserve?

  1. What can you do in marine reserves?
  • Marine reserves are to be ‘preserved as far as possible in a natural state for scientific study’, and all marine life and habitats in reserves are to be protected and preserved.

  • Otherwise, ‘the public has freedom of access and entry to study, observe and record marine life in its natural habitat’.

  • People can enjoy marine reserves on and under the water, to swim, dive, snorkel and take photos, videos, to learn and take away good memories. Above all, enjoy and have a good time.

  • People may inspect rock pools, walk the beaches and ensure that anything moved for study is carefully replaced in its original position.

  • Boats, kayaks and boards may freely use marine reserve and moor using anchors that do not disturb marine life on the seabed.

  • The public is encouraged to remove any human induced litter – plastic, butts, paper, wrappers, cans, bottles, etc. from the foreshore and seabed. Take care not to disturb Blue Penguin nesting boxes above MHWS.

    picture5 Rockpooling at Taputeranga

What can you not do in marine reserves?

  • Do not ‘Take’, as in fishing, harvesting, taking or gathering any marine life, including fish, invertebrates, seaweeds and kelps. This also applies to dead material – dead fish, shells and kelps are part of the food chain and add nutrients to the biological  richness of marine life and habitats.

  • The seabed, foreshore to ‘high water’ and all natural materials such as sand, rocks, shells and the detritus of sea life are fully protected.

  • Do not feed fish, allow toxic substances or pollutants to enter the reserve, nor dump rubbish, building waste, etc. in the reserve.

  • DOC officers have lawful authority over marine reserves. Any transgressions of the ‘no take’ or other prohibitions noted above may be subject to prosecutions and hefty fines.