A Marine Reserve is the government's most comprehensive tool in the provision of area-based biodiversity protection in the marine environment.
Marine reserves are specified areas of the sea and foreshore that are managed to preserve them in their natural state as the habitat of marine life for scientific study. Marine reserves may be established in areas that contain underwater scenery, natural features, or marine life of such distinctive quality, or so typical, beautiful or unique that their continued preservation is in the national interest.
Under the Marine Reserves Act 1971, the Department of Conservation is responsible for caring for and managing marine reserves. Management functions include marking marine reserve boundaries, law enforcement, issuing scientific permits and monitoring environmental changes.
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