Craig McKenzie stalks takahē in Te Anau.
Viewing the world through a rectangular frame is becoming a thing of the past now that virtual-reality technology allows people to look around in 360º while watching a video—following the trajectory of a stingray passing overhead, or watching dolphins swim below.
One of the world’s smallest nations is transforming its economy from subsistence to sustainability. Will Niue’s brave new plan work?
Niue has announced its intention to protect 40 per cent of its exclusive economic zone, or 127,000 square kilometres of ocean, from fishing and other extractive activities. The protected area will include deep ocean seamounts and the biodiversity-rich Beveridge Reef. “Our commitment is not a sacrifice; it is an investment for our future and a tribute to our ancestors,” Niue’s Minister for Natural Resources, Dalton Tagelagi, said in a statement. At the same time, Chile also announced an increase in protection, from four per cent to 29 per cent of its waters. By contrast, New Zealand protects 0.3 per cent of its exclusive economic zone, and a proposal to create a sanctuary incorporating the Kermadec Islands has stalled.
For five years Richard Robinson has been heading out into the blue realm far beyond our shores to photograph the pelagic creatures that live there. It wasn’t an assignment as such, but the beginning of a body of work propelled only by curiosity. He began accruing images of events that occur so rarely that few have had the opportunity to photograph them—orca hunting, the birth and first breath of a pilot whale, feeding frenzies that included several hundred animals. Soon, he had the kernel of an idea that began to coalesce around a working title, ‘Where the Buffalo Roam’—a reference to the American West that matched Robinson’s vision of this vast ocean prairie and its cast of leviathans. The project received two big boosts. First, researcher Jochen Zaeschmar allowed Robinson to accompany him on his many trips offshore, where the photographer took up a spotting position high in the crow’s nest. Later, Robinson won the inaugural Canon Personal Project Grant, enabling the completion of the project with the new 5D Mark IV. The coincidence of vision, curiosity and good fortune are captured in the pages of this issue: “Some of the best work of my life,” says Robinson.
Barely seven per cent of New Zealand is land. The rest of it, the wet bit, covers four million square kilometres. In 2016, photographer Richard Robinson won a Canon Personal Project Grant that enabled a dozen expeditions into this vast marine prairie, arguably the country’s last great tract of undisturbed wilderness.
Just 1.5 per cent of the world’s reefs are in an undisturbed state, say scientists, and one-third are in New Caledonia, a French territory vulnerable to illegal fishing and unable to agree on a management plan for its marine park—the second largest in the world. Last month, a film crew traveled to one of the most remote reefs on the planet and discovered why conservation can't keep up with ecosystem change.
Three new species of wētā have been discovered, and they make drumming calls to woo females.
Thanks, you're good to go!
Thanks, you're good to go!
Ask your librarian to subscribe to this service next year. Alternatively, use a home network and buy a digital subscription—just $1/week...
Subscribe to our free newsletter for news and prizes