Marine Habitats and Ecosystems

Date: 31/12/2010

New Zealand’s 200 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is the fourth largest in the world. Within this is a rich and complex seascape with a huge variety of marine habitats and life forms. There are undersea plateaus, mountain ranges and volcanoes, and the 10,000-metre deep Kermadec Trench, the second deepest point on Earth. Over 15,000 marine species have already been found living in these seas and scientists think that another 50,000 may yet be found. This could represent about 10% of the world’s known marine species. Also, New Zealand’s isolation in the south-west Pacific means that there are many species unique to this country.

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