Ballantine 50 years on   RE: This is a landmark paper – the antidote to Defra think on MCZ’s – it illustrates, based on 50 years of work on real – fully protected – marine reserves what we could expect if we ever applied such thinking here … pigs might fly…

Bill Ballantine: New Zealand pioneered marine reserves, areas in the sea protected from all direct human interference. The first reserve was proposed in 1965 and established in 1977. It has operated successfully ever since. Even one instance proves that such things are possible. All marine reserves in NZ were initially greeted by a range of objections, and widespread and often loud opposition. This is not surprising since marine reserves prohibit many existing activities and seriously challenge many general opinions. Such opposition is to be expected. Successful establishment of marine reserves in the first stage was only possible when the proponents were very persistent and had community support. It helped if they could take advantage of some special local circumstance e.g. an adjacent marine laboratory (Leigh), spectacular underwater scenery (Poor Knights), unique biogeography (Kermadecs), cultural significance (Mayor Island), or severe fishery problems (Long Bay). ….. Other regions could by-pass the long struggle that occurred in New Zealand and move directly to creating marine reserve network systems based on our experiences and these principles. This has already started to happen in Australia and the USA.

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