New Zealand approves marine reserve around terrestrial World Heritage site

The New Zealand government has approved plans to designate a 4840-km2 marine reserve around the Auckland Islands, about 460 km south of the South Island of New Zealand. A formal gazetting process is to come. The upcoming designation, to include a ban on extractive activity, will provide a level of protection equal to that of the islands’ uninhabited terrestrial environment, already designated as a UN World Heritage area and national nature reserve. In recent years, little commercial or recreational fishing has occurred in the reserve’s waters, home to several rare marine mammal and sea bird species.

The new MPA, stretching 12 nm from shore and protecting ecosystems as deep as 3000 m, will be the second largest marine reserve in New Zealand waters after the 7450-km2 Kermadec Islands Marine Reserve. Conservation Minister Chris Carter said he hoped to announce several more marine reserve approvals by the end of 2003. To view the government’s official application for marine reserve status for the Auckland Islands, visit

International workshop plans development of high-seas MPAs

In January, experts on international law, biophysical science and marine management met in Malaga, Spain, to craft plans for the development of a global network of MPAs on the high seas, outside national jurisdictions. A consolidated action plan based on the workshop’s findings is expected to be released in April 2003. The workshop was financed by the J.M. Kaplan Fund and held under the auspices of the IUCN, its World Commission on Protected Areas, and WWF. Attendees agreed the target date for designation of a high-seas MPA network would be 2012, the same target set by last year’s World Summit on Sustainable Development to establish a global system of MPAs (MPA News 4:3). “As the high seas cover 50% of the Earth’s surface, a global representative network would by necessity have to include the high seas,” said workshop coordinator Kristina Gjerde.

For more information:
Kristina Gjerde, IUCN/WCPA/WWF High Seas Project Coordinator, ul. Piaskowa 12c, 05-510 Konstancin-Chylice, Poland. Tel: +48 22 754 1803, E-mail:
Charlotte Breide, Solicitor, Senior Legal Advisor-High Seas, WWF International, Avenue du Mont Blanc, 1196 Gland, Switzerland. E-mail:

Proceedings available from MPA economics conference

Papers presented at the June 2000 “Economics of Marine Protected Areas” conference held in Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada), have been published. Two special issues of the research journal Natural Resource Modeling (Volume 15, Nos. 3 and 4) contain five papers apiece from the conference. Five additional papers appear in Vol. 30, No. 2 of Coastal Management journal, a separate publication. Both journals are available only to subscribers. Non-subscribers may wish to read the lead article in the August 2000 issue of MPA News, which described much of the research.