2 Feb 2011

Marine reserves 'needed close to population centres'

6:49 am on 2 February 2011

A marine protection advocate says the Government has chosen easy options in selecting its new marine reserves.

More than 435,000 hectares around the sub-Antarctic Islands have now been brought under protection.

The reserves stretch around the entire Antipodes Island and parts of Campbell Island and the Bounty Islands.

But an independent specialist on marine reserves, Roger Grace, says the chosen areas are a large, easy offshore option that people won't complain about.

He says less than 1% of New Zealand's mainland coast is located in marine reserves, which are most urgently needed close to population centres.