Five ways you can help save our oceans

ish stocks under pressure, climate change-driven acidification and a rising tide of plastic pollution: we're hearing more about the plight of our oceans. But what can we do about it? As we head to the beach for our first summer swim, Jacob Anderson of the Sir Peter Blake Trust shares five easy things we can do to help protect our precious marine environment.

Do you think of the Hauraki Gulf like you do Fiordland or Tongariro National Park? Since 2000, the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park has been our first national park of the sea. An area with more than 50 islands and five marine reserves, the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park is a taonga, or treasure.

Within the gulf, a hotspot for biodiversity, 22 species of whales and dolphins, and more than 70 seabird species have been recorded.

But increasing pressures from overfishing and pollution have prompted calls for action to restore these magnificent places to the pristine blue oases they once were.

For example, trevally numbers are down 86 per cent, and snapper numbers are down 83 per cent from their historic levels in the Gulf.

The challenge is marine issues throughout New Zealand have not been a priority for local and central governments, and many people have never explored beyond the coast or dipped beneath the surface to see both the richness of New Zealand's marine biodiversity and the degradation occurring.

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