8 Mar 2016

Bill to establish fully-protected ocean zone introduced to Parliament

8:06 pm on 8 March 2016

A Bill to establish one of the world's largest fully protected ocean areas, in New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone, has been introduced to Parliament.

The government last year announced it would establish the Kermedec Ocean Sanctuary, which would ban all forms of fishing and mining in a 620,000 square kilometre area of the economic zone.

The sanctuary is home to three million seabirds of 39 different species, more than 150 species of fish, 35 species of whales and three endangered species of turtles.

It stretches from Raoul Island in the north to L'Esperance Rock in the South.

The Bill will be open for public submissions, and it is expected the sanctuary will come into effect in November.