Goat Island Marine Reserve - One of the World's First 'No Take' Marine Reserves

Image from Sea Friends

Goat Island back in 1975 was New Zealand's very first marine reserve. In 1977 it was officially opened and since then has become both a scientific and ecological treasure. Auckland University established a Marine Biology laboratory at the reserve and over the years have collected a large amount of data and research on the diverse range of species that live within the marine reserves boundaries.

Beyond the reserve boundary a very different story. Pressure from both commercial and recreational fishing have taken their toll on the formerly abundant stocks of snapper, kingfish and other food fish species. I remember thirty years ago being able to go out with my father fishing and we would catch Grandfather snapper. Always only taking just enough to eat for dinner and nothing more.

Sadly the East Coast of Northland with its sheltered sandy bays is now under pressure from development. Subdivisions have been common place over the years with coastal properties becoming some of the most expensive in the country. With population growth has come more pressure on the fish stocks and sadly less are now being caught. Marine Reserves are a necessity and provide a nursery for future generations of fish stock and reef life.

I love Goat Island Bay and its fish life at least it is protected unlike the wonderful Kaipara Harbour which is now under threat from two large power projects. I live just ten minutes from the Kaipara Harbour until now we have enjoyed a relatively undisturbed lifestyle where we can go down and catch a fish or two. Enough for dinner no more but with developemtn and these power projects that way of life will become a thing of the past. I have always believed the Kaipara Harbour should be made a World Heritage site with lifestyle balanced with conservation. But that is my own opinion. To see the biggest natural harbour in the Southern Hemisphere interfered with by power projects to me is wrong. I'll do another post about the two power projects later on once I've completed my research.


  1. Woah! I've been there! The Railway Enthusiasts did an excursion up there a year or so ago. 'Course, we went at the wrong time, so there wasn't much to see in the way of marine life, but -- it was still cool.

    Yay! I've actually been to a certifiable cool place! :-)

  2. Yo Ice. Cool place. You went in winter as I recall. Great in summer but...crowded out mutter.

  3. By the way, if you think I'm a bit slow putting comments up on your blog, Storm -- the "following" thing on the Dashboard is darned slow as golden syrup out of the can in July. Your posts aren't showing up on the Dashboard for hours. This one still hasn't appeared (I just got a tad canny and headed over the blog to check out the silence). ;-)

  4. Nah Ice. Rae's blog hasn't shown updates for over a week even though she's posted heaps since then. And Cabbage Tree farm was the same. I just click on the main link now and check. Don't sweat it. Not expecting you to comment on every post. thought I'd put this one up because it relates to what I'm working on at the moment. Going to do another later on but not today. I'll put something else up til then.

  5. Yeah, but ... I like to keep up with what you're doing ... and I might miss out of cool stuff ... WAAAAAHHH!!!

    *sniff, sniff*

    T'ain't fair! (stamps foot, and walks off, disconsolate, exit stage right)

    S'okay, I'll try t' keep up. Hopefully this is just Xmas-lag.

  6. EKKKKK power stations on the Kaipara ??? never I hope, is there somewhere we can voice our opinion on this hideous plan ? This amazing harbour is beautiful and `they` cannot spoil it - imagine the loss of flora and fauna . . . Thankyou for doing your excellent blog, I love checking it out each day !

  7. Ice...I can hear the foot stompin from here.LOL Nah you won't miss out. You're severely onto it.

    Ngaio I hate to tell you this but yes there are indeed two major power projects scheduled for the Kaipara Harbour. one option isn't so bad the other...isn't good. Either way I don't want to see them there at all - ever. Great to hear from you and I love your blog. Fantastic on the bees. I'll have to read your other one as well.

    Take care

  8. I havent been there, don't know why but I'd love to.

  9. Amy you'd love it there. Great place but lock up your car and watch your belongings if you do go there. Seriously.


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