A few days ago a new version of Google Earth was launched including the two thirds of the planet that was previously unmapped - our oceans!

After renowned marine scientist Sylvia Earle noticed the serious lack of aquatic information in Google Earth she sarcastically asked one of the creators "why don't you call it 'Google Dirt'?". Her comment actually inspired them to make "Google Ocean". Thanks to their collaboration with over 100 organisations - you can now dive in and explore the big blue without even getting wet. You can even dive the Rainbow Warrior off the cost of NZ up at Matauri Bay.

The oceans geeks here at Greenpeace are excited because you can see all the marine protected areas across the globe. Sadly - only 1% of our oceans are actually protected and we need to protect 40% in order to ensure that they stay healthy.

Here in NZ despite us having quite a large number of marine reserves they still only cover around 0.3 per cent of New Zealand’s total marine area (including the EEZ). Not nearly enough methinks.

It will be interesting to watch this area grow (hopefully really quickly!) on Google Earth as governments take steps to declare marine reserves in the coming years. Click here to help speed this up!

Marine conservationists are excited about new possibilities with this powerful tool since they can use it to identify important areas that need protection and illustrate them easily for policy makers.

Download the new Google Earth and let us know which parts of NZ waters you'd like to see protected by leaving a comment below. You can even check out the research we've been doing in the Bering Sea (just search for "Greenpeace").