Encyclopedia of Coastal Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Charles W. Finkl, Christopher Makowski

New Zealand, Coastal Ecology

  • Russell ColeEmail author
  • Conrad Pilditch
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-48657-4_227-2


New Zealand has the fourth largest exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the world (over 4 million km2), and a long indented coast. The EEZ ranges from subtropical areas to subantarctic areas, though we confine our review to mainland New Zealand (i.e., North, South, and Stewart Islands). Our discussion considers areas from the upper limit of saltwater penetration to the edge of the continental shelf (mean depth 200 m), though we focus on coastal regions. Coastal regions supply New Zealanders with food, recreation, and a livelihood, with high-value near-shore capture fisheries and aquaculture being important contributors to the nation’s economy.

The important features of the complex current patterns around New Zealand are becoming better known. The west coast is generally characterized by turbid, cold, productive seas, served in some areas by upwelling of nutrient-rich waters. Subtropical water impinges on northern New Zealand, and may reach down both coasts of the North Island...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NIWARNelsonNew Zealand
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand