New Zealand is considered a world hotspot for biodiversity. This is easy to see on land, with our many iconic species like kiwi, tuatara and wētā. The marine environment is no different! The significance of the ocean to our lives is perfectly summed up in the name of our region of the world – Oceania.
Oceania, in the southeast Asia-Pacific, includes Australasia, Micronesia and Polynesia. These Pacific islands are generally located in warm, tropical waters and have recognisable features such as bright coral reefs. New Zealand, situated further south, has different environmental factors that influence the species found in our marine waters. At 4.2 million km² (about 15 times the size of our land mass), our exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is the fifth largest in the world. Our EEZ has about the same known species diversity as the entire European region EEZ, which is about 5.5 times larger.
Download the Department of Conservation infographic as a PDF.
Copyright: Department of Conservation