Push for marine reserve
which was put in place in 1971, makes it very difficult to establish a marine reserve,’’ she said.
So the group changed tack and decided it ‘‘wanted to get the ball rolling on passing this new law’’, Siobhan Hemingway said.
‘‘At only 17-years-old, I have already seen a major decrease in fish numbers in my lifetime,’’ Holly Wills said.
Growing up they would catch and record many different marine species in the Marlborough Sounds, she said.
‘‘We would always pull up lots of flounder of large sizes but now we only get a few between multiple seines [nets] that are of average size but are still legal.’’
Wills said this had happened since commercial boats started trawling through surrounding bays.
‘‘Seeing the effect of human activities, at my age, makes me realise that the ocean’s fish stocks cannot be sustained in the manner we are using it now,’’ she said.
‘‘I feel that it is important to create sanctuaries where marine species can replenish to compete with our pressures.’’
Associate environment minister Eugene Sage also received the letter and said she understood the students’ concerns.
‘‘Getting letters like this one from these students from Marlborough Girls’ College is what makes this job so worthwhile. Their research and commitment to protecting our marine environment is inspirational.’’
The students had been invited to present their report to the Marlborough District Council environmental committee in July.