IntroductionDOC is responsible for New Zealand's marine reserves and marine protected and threatened species.
Marine protected areas are an important tool in ensuring that our marine biodiversity is maintained in a healthy state.
Our marine protected areas are special places offering spectacular opportunities to see marine life, thriving and abundant in their natural environment. Activities such as sailing, kayaking, snorkelling and diving are just some of the ways you can explore what is above and below the surface.
There are three levels of marine protection: Type 1 Marine Protected Areas (marine reserves), Type 2 Marine Protected Areas and Other marine protection tools. See more information on these levels below.
Protected marine species include all marine mammals and reptiles; sea birds (except black-backed gulls); seven species of fish; all black corals, gorgonian corals, stony corals and hydrocorals. These species face a range of threats such as climate change, sedimentation, disease, pollution and bycatch in commercial and recreational fisheries.
New Zealand’s marine biodiversityNew Zealand is known for having one of the most unique marine environments on the planet. Learn more about the world we have underwater.
Understanding marine habitatsFind out how ocean habitats are made and how they support sea life and ocean health.
Threats facing our oceansHuman activities are threatening the health of our marine environment. Learn more about them and how you can help.
Find out about and visit a marine reserve. Be aware you cannot fish, remove or disturb any marine life in these areas.
Sea and shore birdsNew Zealand is considered the seabird capital of the world, with remarkable and unique seabirds.
Marine fish and reptilesFind out about sharks/mangō, spotted black grouper, sea snakes, kraits and turtles.
Report accidental capture of protected marine species
We're asking fishers to report accidental capture of protected fish, birds, and other marine species. Find out how to make a report.