Experiencing marine reserves

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Encouraging Dunedin people to explore the wonders underwater is the aim of one dive enthusiast.

Experiencing Marine Reserves regional co-ordinator Amelia Saxby, who also works for Dive Otago, said while the initiative – which teaches pupils about marine life, the importance of marine reserves and takes them snorkelling – was still only in a few Dunedin schools, she hoped the programme would grow.

The programme also hosts a nationwide art and writing competition for school pupils, the winners of which win an all expenses paid trip to snorkel in the Poor Knight Islands, off the coast of Northland.

Dunedin was a bit different from other areas, due to the cold water, unpredictable weather conditions and the fact that Otago was the only region in the country without a designated marine reserve – though that was currently under review.

She said school groups in other areas of the country were taken snorkelling in an area that was a marine reserve and a place that was not, so pupils could see the difference.

For more information about Experiencing Marine Reserves, email Amelia Saxby at amelia@emr.org.nz.