New Zealand fur seal swimming inthe Fiordland marine area
Hawea marine reserve covers 411 hectares of marine habitat in Bligh Sound and was one of eight marine reserves established in 2005 as part of the management measures proposed by the Fiordland Marine Guardians.
Most of the reserve is deep basin habitat, but there are also large areas of sheltered shallow rock wall habitat and deep reef or rock wall habitat.
Underwater mapping of the reserve shows mostly steep rock walls on the shaded western side of the reserve, compared with more broken rocky reefs on the more sun-lit eastern side of the reserve. The near-vertical rock walls of ‘Turn Round Point’ are a special feature of the reserve, with abundant reef fishes and invertebrates feeding on plankton swept past in the high tidal flow. Black corals are relatively abundant along the rock walls in this area.
Know before you go
- Anchoring is prohibited within a part of the reserve.
- Live rock lobster caught from the wild, outside the reserve, can be held in cages for up to two months within a specified area of the reserve.
- Storage only of open rock lobster pots and cages is permitted within a specified area of the reserve.
- Despite the above rules, the taking of marine life in the reserve is not permitted.