In a marine reserve, all marine life is protected. Nothing can be taken or disturbed.
From your point of view, this level of protection is great for two reasons - there’s more to see, and what you’re seeing isn’t afraid of you.
New Zealand’s first marine reserve was established in 1975 in an area north of Auckland known as Goat Island. It was one of the planet’s first no-take marine reserves. The fish in this reserve have had more than 30 years to get over their fear of humans. Today they play around you like puppies.
Every one of our marine reserves, and there are more than 25 of them, preserves an area that is valuable because it’s typical, unique or extremely beautiful. For example, Fiordland’s marine reserves protect the world's largest black coral trees - some over 300 years old.
One of our most famous marine reserves is the Poor Knights, where subtropical currents, huge caves and archways support an extraordinary range of life. This reserve has been called one of the top 10 dive sites in the world.