Black Coral, New Zealand

Photograph by Brian Skerry, National Geographic

Black coral, New Zealand, 2006

The resilience of the oceans is evident within the many marine reserves throughout New Zealand. In places like the Poor Knights Islands, Fiordland, and Goat Island, no-take protection has resulted in a rebounding of marine life, creating a new baseline for healthy marine ecosystems. Some of these places were protected because they were extraordinary; others became extraordinary thanks to protection. Diving in these waters, surrounded by schools of fish and seeing animals everywhere, people become aware of the restorative powers of conservation. This is how the ocean looked a hundred years ago, perhaps.

(From the National Geographic book Ocean Soul by Brian Skerry)

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