DOC makes maps of marine species and habitats accessible to all


The Department of Conservation has released more than 300 layers of marine data and an interactive mapping tool for viewing, analyzing and downloading.

Data layers include distribution models for species such as sharks and rays, corals and sponges, and popular fish such as snapper and reef fish.

“Previously, access to data on marine habitats and species was fragmented and difficult,” explains Jodie Robertson, GIS analyst at DOC.

“Bringing this project together required bringing together and standardizing many years of marine mapping data to make it available in one easily accessible location. “

By loading multiple map layers at once, people can compare species ranges and habitats, and visualize where these overlap with protected areas, such as marine mammal sanctuaries and marine reserves. DOC will continue to upload existing data sets over the coming months and when new survey data is collected.

These datasets will be useful to many people and organizations – from local government to community groups – in their work for marine protection in their area.

“DOC is committed to providing easy public access to our marine data, from the latest research to historical records,” said Kirstie Knowles, DOC’s marine ecosystem manager.

“We want to make all of this information available for anyone to use – and it will be continually updated with new research, becoming a point of access to data on marine ecosystems. This should make marine protection decisions more transparent, accessible and efficient. “

This open data portal is essential for the development of a national network of marine protected areas. The project lays the foundation for achieving the Te Mana o Te Taiao (New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy) goal of integrated marine management and protection.

Visit the portal on

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