Marine environment report highlights lack of data
The first ever report on New Zealand's marine environment, Our marine environment 2016, has revealed the severe lack of data on how much it's suffering.
The Ministry for the Environment's report, which from now on will be six-monthly, warns of the impact of fishing, the critical status of native seabirds and the damage from ocean acidification.
The most glaring finding is how little is known about the impacts of human pressures on coastal and marine environments and the need for future reporting.
The report says there is limited data on the degradation of coastal marine habitats from human activities, and the impact of commercial and recreational fishing.
It says New Zealand's ocean area is vast which means monitoring and research is expensive for a small country, and it may take years to improve the knowledge gaps.