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Liv­ing on an is­land means be­ing sur­rounded by sea, so the state of our ocean mat­ters.

I see the ma­rine en­vi­ron­ment through my mask as I snorkel around Wai­heke’s north­ern coast most days in sum­mer.

It’s a des­o­late waste­land out there.

I watch peo­ple fish­ing off the rocks and know they are wast­ing their time. There are pre­cious few le­gal sized fish any­where near the shore.

Ev­ery sum­mer, I take my daugh­ters to Tawha­ranui and Goat Is­land ma­rine re­serves to see hun­dreds of fish in the space we would see one or two around Wai­heke.

Last weekend, Auck­land ma­rine bi­ol­o­gist Roger Grace told me fish­eries man­age­ment has failed to pro­tect bio­di­ver­sity and habi­tat in the Hau­raki Gulf. The Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries is plan­ning to spend $8 mil­lion on snap­per tag­ging to catch up on what divers and snorkellers can see all too clearly.

Dr Grace says it’s too lit­tle to late. I couldn’t live without the say­ing, bet­ter late than never.

- Rose.

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