It's one year today since the establishment of the Motiti Protection Area.
The area, which covers the three offshore reef areas surrounding Motiti Island, aims to protect indigenous biodiversity and acknowledge it's significant marine, landscape and cultural values.
Since 11th August 2021, Bay of Plenty Regional Council have had Compliance and Maritime staff patrolling the area to ensure the rules are being respected, plus exploring a range of scientific and marine monitoring programmes.
Compliance Manager, Alex Miller says, the monitoring provides an important snapshot of the current environment.
“Compliance initiatives over this first year have focused on educating boaties about the new rules, and we've been really impressed with the response that we've had on the water so far. Damaging the marine environment within these areas is an offence and can result in enforcement so, going forward, we encourage everyone to make themselves familiar with the boundaries of the protection areas." Miller says.
"With these protection areas now well established, we are excited to continue exploring opportunities to work with tangata whenua and other organisations to protect this special area for future generations.”
This marine protection area is the only one of its kind in Te Moana a Toi | Bay of Plenty and the decision was a first for New Zealand.