In October 2010, the Foundation made a small grant to the Akaroa Harbour Marine Society to help inform community and visitors to Akaroa town of the need for a no-take marine reserve. The Society had been, by that time, campaigning for nearly 15 years.
Today, Dr Nick Smith, New Zealand Minister of Conservation, finally approved the Akaroa marine reserve, after a sustained campaign lasting 17 years by the Akaroa Harbour Marine Society. The no-take reserve has been reduced in size by about 55ha, which is a compromise that the Akaroa Marine Society says it can live with. There is also a review clause for 10 years.
It has been a glorious day here in Akaroa and quite a crowd gathered on the Akaroa Wharf to hear Nick’s announcement. It has been the support of people like yourselves which has encouraged us to keep going with this application which has been troublesome due to the opposition of the local runanga and of course recreational fishers who traditionally oppose marine reserves (until they see how good they are – which hopefully will happen in Akaroa too!)
We expect this will give a boost to all those stalwart conservationists who take on the difficult mantle of proposing marine reserves. It is a difficult area to work in but well worth the effort. KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON !!
Kathleen Reid – Secretary - Akaroa Harbour Marine Protection Society Incorporated
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