1 Aug 2008

New marine reserve seen as being in wrong place

8:55 am on 1 August 2008

Plans for a marine reserve on Wellington's south coast have been criticised as well meaning, but misplaced.

The Taputeranga Marine Reserve is due to open next month, 17 years after the Royal Forest & Bird Society began campaigning for it.

The reserve stretches 3km along the coast and 2km out to sea.

Opponents say it sits too close to sewage outflows.

Wellington Recreational Marine Fishers Association president Jim Mikoz says he supports the reserve, but thinks it is in the wrong place.

However, Wellington Conservator Alan McKenzie denies the problem is that severe. He says the Department of Conservation has been working with Wellington City Council to improve sewage outflows on the south coast.

Marine life in the reserve area is described as including more than 180 species of fish and 400 types of seaweed, as well as dolphins, fur seals and whales.

The reserve will officially open on 7 September.