The creatures of New Zealand’s oldest marine reserve are safe from humans, but that doesn’t mean life is easy. They are under constant attack from marauding dolphins, diving cormorants, and the sharks and the marlin that live beyond the boundaries of the reserve.
Just north of New Zealand’s biggest city, tens of thousands of fish school meters from the beach in one of the world’s first marine reserves. Inside the Goat Island Reserve giant snapper can live for eighty years and crayfish grow to weigh 8 kilos. Both feed on the thousands of sea urchins that graze the kelp forest, maintaining a delicately balanced ecosystem. Like many of the reserve’s inhabitants, they entrust their larvae to the ocean currents – so how do they find their way back to the reef when they take on their adult form and settle down? Our Big Blue Backyard: Goat Island reveals that it’s the music of the reef that draws them home. The chorus of munching sea urchins helps fish and crustacean larvae locate the healthy reef ecosystem and swim towards it to renew the cycle of life in the safety of the marine reserve.