Experiencing Marine Reserves (EMR), in partnership with the Sir Peter Blake Trust, was part of the inaugural Young Blake Expedition to the Kermadecs in August 2012.
Thirty outstanding teenage explorers travelled aboard HMNZS Canterbury for an adventure of a lifetime.
EMR provided the snorkel safety planning, equipment and in-water leadership.
The Kermadec Islands have been protected with marine reserve status since 1990; the reef communities are transitional between tropical coral reefs and temperate rocky reefs. Students were excited to see the famous giant Kermadec limpet and bright yellow pigmentation of the grey drummer. Endemic species of fish such as the Kermadec scalyfin and Kermadec demoiselle were identified. We encountered two large predators that play a major role on the Kermadec reefs: the Galapagos shark and the spotted black grouper were the Kermadec Island's population is the last remaining stronghold.
With the aim of inspiring New Zealanders to understand the global significance of the Kermadec Islands and the planet's oceans generally, The Sir Peter Blake Trust, together with the Ministry for the Environment, the Royal New Zealand Navy, Department of Conservation, Pew Environment Group, Experiencing Marine Reserves, Air New Zealand and LEARNZ, has achieved this goal and successfully followed in the footsteps of Sir Peter Blake to mobilise and inspire the next generation of kiwi leaders, adventurers and environmentalists.