Living World

Where the wild things are

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.

Magazine

ISSUE 148

Nov - Dec 2017

Pelagic species

Gene editing

Whitebait

Lava caves

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Science & Environment

Life hackers

Gene editing is now being used in research around New Zealand, usually to ‘switch off’ genes one by one in order to figure out what they do. Overseas, this technology has started to emerge from the lab—it has the potential to help eradicate pests, save threatened species, even cure diseases—and soon, we’ll have to decide whether gene editing should be permitted more widely in New Zealand. What are the risks? What could we use it for? And how should we decide?

Science & Environment

Net loss

There isn’t a catch limit on the lucrative whitebait fishery, which threatens to extinguish a cherished tradition and a small family of fish in one sweep of the net. If nothing changes, two whitebait species will be gone within five years, and the rest by 2034.

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