Above: A rizzo’s dolphin which came to play off the bow of Tindori. This species of dolphin is only found in the waters surrounding New Zealand. Photo: Owen James Burke.
Just the other day, I came home from a fishing trip after being swarmed by dolphins, sharks, whales, fish and gannets to find out that New Zealand President John Key had announced the island-nation’s plans to establish one of the largest marine reserves in the world. I may have been in the Marlborough Sounds over 1,000 miles southwest of the proposed reserve, but I couldn’t help but feel hopeful that these creatures, too, will benefit from this vast new sanctuary. -OJB
The tropical waters surrounding New Zealand’s Kermadec Islands are some of the most biodiverse–and pristine–seas remaining on this big blue marble. Millions of seabirds, over 150 species of fish, and some 35 species of whales and dolphins, along with three endangered sea turtles, countless corals, shellfish and crustaceans.