The Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand have released the first national report about the marine environment.
The two reports are the ministry's Our marine environment 2016, which identifies three top areas of concern:
- Global greenhouse gas emissions are causing ocean acidification and warming - changes that will continue for generations.
- Most of our native marine birds and many mammals are threatened with or at risk of extinction.
- Our coasts are the most degraded of all marine areas, due to sediment and nutrients washed off the land, introduced marine pests, and seabed trawling and dredging.
Statistics New Zealand has released the companion report, New Zealand's marine economy: 2007-13. This shows that the marine economy contributed 1.9%, or $4 billion, to New Zealand's gross domestic product in 2013.
The reports are the first since the Environmental Reporting Act 2015 came into force on 27 June 2016. The next report - about fresh water - will be released in April 2017.