New Zealand's marine environment is under increasing pressure from climate change, pollution and 
pests, a new Government stocktake has found.

Yet the major report, released this morning by the Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand, fails to show the full impact fishing is having on our oceans.
The paper pin-points three major concerns:

• Global greenhouse gas emissions are causing ocean acidification and warming - changes that will continue for generations.

• Most of our native marine birds and many mammals are threatened with, or at risk of extinction.
• Our coasts are the most degraded of all marine areas, due to sediment and nutrients washed off the land, introduced marine pests, and seabed trawling and dredging.

But it found the full ecological impact of fishing "was not clear" - and did not draw firm conclusions about specific effects of commercial, recreational and customary fishing.

Secretary for the Environment Vicky Robertson said our oceans are facing multiple, and cumulative pressures that have been building over generations.

"Our waters have become more acidic from absorbing excess CO2," she said.

"This affects the creatures that live there. Among other things, ocean acidification makes it more difficult for shellfish, like pa and mussels, to form shells."