Date: 31 August 2020
Campbell Island/Moutere Ihupuku is the main island of New Zealand’s most southern subantarctic island group, 660 km south of the South Island, and along with its territorial sea, is part of New Zealand’s subantarctic World Heritage Area.
A collaborative process led by the Subantarctic Marine Protection Planning Forum resulted in the Subantarctic Islands Marine Reserves Act 2014 (the Act).
This established the Campbell Island/Moutere Ihupuku Marine Reserve over 39% of the territorial sea around the island group to protect marine species and habitats. Fishing restrictions on Danish seining were implemented over the remaining 61% of the territorial sea to complement existing restrictions on trawling and dredging in the Benthic Protection Area, which was established in 2006, and to create a “Type 2 Marine Protected Area”.
The Act included a clause requiring an “independent review” to consider whether the additional 1767 km2 (61% of territorial sea) outside the marine reserve should also be included in the marine reserve.
The review included consideration of (but was not limited to):
- the value of the additional area to a deepwater crab fishery;
- the impact of a deepwater crab fishery in the additional area on the marine environment and ecosystems; and
- the biodiversity values in the additional area.
Review and finding
The independent review was undertaken by Envirostrat Consulting Ltd and included discussion with our Treaty partner and stakeholders, as well as the technical review required by the Act. The report recommended extending the reserve to include the whole of the territorial sea, on the basis that there is low fishing potential in the area and vulnerable biodiversity.
Stakeholders expressed a range of views on the proposed marine reserve extension as part of the independent review with support by environmental groups and scientists and opposition from the commercial fishing industry.
Ngāi Tahu/Kāi Tahu, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and Te Ohu Kaimoana advised DOC and Fisheries NZ (Ministry for Primary Industries) they did not support an extension of the marine reserve due to their commercial and customary interests in the area, a lack of information about the marine environment and the age of the data used to assess the viability of the deepwater crab fishery.
The Act required agreement between the Ministers of Conservation and Fisheries if the marine reserve was to be extended. To make that decision Ministers considered the independent report, as well as wider factors including those iwi and stakeholder views above.
The Minister of Conservation supported the extension of the marine reserve in line with the recommendation of the independent review, however the Minister of Fisheries did not agree due to concerns raised by the Crown’s Treaty partner, Ngāi Tahu, and other stakeholders.
Therefore, the Campbell Island/Moutere Ihupuku Marine Reserve will not be extended to the remaining 61 percent of the island group’s territorial sea under the Subantarctic Islands Marine Reserves Act.
Choosing not to extend the marine reserve under this Act does not preclude other marine protection options being considered for this area in the future.
Proactive release of key briefings 2018-20
DOC has released a number of ministerial briefings related to the Moutere Ihupuku/Campbell Island Marine Reserve Review.
All documents have been reviewed for release under the Official Information Act (OIA). Several sections of the Act have been applied to withhold sensitive information. Any sections withheld are clearly indicated in each document.