Applaud Announcement of Massive New Ocean Reserve

757px-Parma_kermadecensis_(Kermadec_scalyfin) via ian skipworth

Target: Dr. Nick Smith, Minister for the Environment, New Zealand

Goal: Praise new nature reserve which will protect 15 percent of New Zealand’s ocean space.

A massive area of ocean will soon be designated a wildlife reserve according to a recent announcement by the government of New Zealand. The island country will be protecting a 620,000 square kilometer area in the Kermadec region, which is home to one of the world’s deepest ocean trenches. This will expand the percentage of protected waters in New Zealand greatly, from near 0.5 percent to over 15 percent.

The Kermadec region contains several volcanic islands and is one of the most geologically diverse patches of ocean anywhere, also containing the longest chain of submarine volcanoes. The waters surrounding the islands are home to over 6 million seabirds, 250 coral species, and over 35 species of whale and dolphin, as well as various endangered species of sea turtle.

While the islands are uninhabited and the surrounding waters are somewhat isolated, increased fishing and seabed mining activities in the area are putting the balance of the ecosystem at risk. Over the past 40 years, fish and bird populations have declined by nearly half. With its designation as a wildlife reserve, all fishing, mining, and oil operations in the area will be forced to shut down.

By protecting the Kermadec region, New Zealand is protecting a wondrous stretch of ocean habitat as well as the plant and animal life that inhabits it. The new reserve will allow fish and seabird populations to recover, as well as provide valuable safe areas for endangered turtles and whales. Sign the petition below to praise New Zealand’s efforts to preserve its surrounding ecosystems.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Minister Nick Smith,

The government of New Zealand has recently announced the designation of a new ocean reserve in the Kermadec region. This area is one of the most geographically diverse in the world and is home to one of the deepest ocean trenches as well as the longest string of underwater volcanoes anywhere on earth. This area is home to millions of seabirds and fish and is frequented by several species of endangered sea turtle and whale.

By protecting this area from fishing, mining, and oil drilling, the government is giving struggling populations of native wildlife a chance to thrive. It will also serve as a safe area where endangered species can begin to recover. We, the undersigned, applaud the designation of the new Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Ian Skipworth

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