Each day during the month of April, the Institute will feature one of the 30 ‘perspectives’ from the One Ocean report. These short articles include a diverse range of views regarding oceans management in New Zealand. Enjoy!


Rear Admiral Jack Steer, Chief of Navy, Royal New Zealand Navy

The Navy and the ocean

The role of your navy is to contribute to the security of our nation and the people of New Zealand. Our area of expertise is the maritime environment – ocean.

New Zealand is surrounded by the sea, and we depend on it for our livelihood. Trade keeps our country functioning, and the harvesting of the abundant resources in the ocean provides a livelihood for many New Zealanders. Your navy operates in this environment to do its part in keeping the oceans that form the bridges between nations safe.

Your navy is also a protector of the ocean and the sea life in it. We work especially hard to reduce the impact your navy has on the ocean itself. Garbage is compacted on-board before being landed ashore, non-toxic hull coatings are used, spills of fuel and other contaminants have been reduced significantly and there are set plans to deal with them if they do occur. Non-toxic cleaners are used wherever possible and wastewater is treated on-board before being discharged. We are conscious of the impact ships can have on marine life and are especially careful when operating in the vicinity of sea creatures to avoid harm where possible.

A large part of our work is working with those who obtain their livelihood from the sea to assist in monitoring catch sizes and helping where we can to sustain the life in our oceans. We also provide platforms for numerous organisations to better enable them to conduct research and studies.

Your navy is a guardian of New Zealand; we also work hard to be a guardian of the oceans. They are so very important to us all.

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