All marine life within a reserve is protected and fishing and the removal or disturbance of any marine resource, both living and non-living is prohibited.
Everyone is encouraged to enjoy these reserves. In all marine reserves you may: dive, snorkel, take photos, swim, kayak, anchor (with care), navigate through, picnic on the beach, build sand castles, investigate in rock pools, and so on.
There are three marine reserves in or near the Tasman District.
Tonga Island Marine Reserve in Abel Tasman National Park covers an area of 1835 hectares, extending one nautical mile (1852 metres) offshore from the mean high water mark of Tonga Island, and the coast between Awaroa Head and the headland separating Bark Bay and Mosquito Bay.
This Marine Reserve in Golden Bay covers 536 hectares and includes all the tidal sandflats and channels south of a straight line between Melbourne Point (Pah Point) and the closest headland of Westhaven Scenic Reserve.
It also includes all the tidal areas upstream of causeways along Dry Road, southwest of and including the Wairoa River. An area around the Mangarakau wharf is not included in either reserve.
Close to Tasman District, situated 12 kilometres north of Nelson City, Horoirangi Marine Reserve extends north-east from Glenduan (“The Glen”) to Ataata Point, the southern headland of Cable Bay, and offshore for one nautical mile (1852 metres). The Marine Reserve is a little over 5 kilometres long and covers 904 hectares.
Further information on marine reserves can be found on the Department of Conservation website see below: