The volunteer organisation Guardians of Kapiti Marine Reserve has resumed its lobbying for a new patrol boat to support the New Zealand federal and Wellington regional governments’ law enforcement, research, anti-illegal fishing, and environmental protection efforts in the Kapiti Marine Reserve and the Kapiti Island Nature Reserve.
Guardians chairman Ben Knight repeated the NGO’s request for a dedicated vessel in a recent meeting with the Department of Conservation’s (DOC) Wellington Conservation Board.
Mr Knight told the board that having a patrol boat based in Kapiti would greatly augment the DOC’s visibility in the area, thereby more effectively ensuring compliance.
The Guardians’ patrol boat that is nearest to Kapiti is Mataura II (pictured), which is based at Mana some 25 kilometres away.
Mr Knight added that, while the Guardians’ recently launched webcam network has indeed proven effective in deterring instances of illegal fishing in Kapiti’s protected waters, some violators have nonetheless been able to enter the area undetected.
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