The Motiti Protection Area, covering the three offshore reef areas surrounding Motiti Island, came into effect one year ago today and initial monitoring programmes are underway.
Since 11 August 2021, Bay of Plenty Regional Council has had Compliance and Maritime staff patrolling the area to ensure the rules are being respected, plus exploring a range of scientific and marine monitoring programmes.
Compliance Manager, Alex Miller says the monitoring provides an important snapshot of the current environment.
“Compliance initiatives over this first year have focused on educating boaties about the new rules, and we've been really impressed with the response that we've had on the water so far. Damaging the marine environment within these areas is an offence and can result in enforcement so, going forward, we encourage everyone to make themselves familiar with the boundaries of the protection areas.
With these protection areas now well established, we are excited to continue exploring opportunities to work with tangata whenua and other organisations to protect this special area for future generations.”
This marine protection area is the only one of its kind in Te Moana a Toi | Bay of Plenty and the decision was a first for New Zealand. It aims to protect indigenous biodiversity and acknowledge the significant marine, landscape, and cultural values in the area.
Find out more at www.boprc.govt.nz/mpa