The Long Sound marine reserve, Te Tapuwae o Hua is the largest reserve in Fiordland at 3,672 hectares. This reserve was one of eight established in 2005, as part of the management measures proposed by the Guardians of Fiordland. It includes the main Long Sound basin, ‘the Narrows’, and Revolver and Useless Bays.
Long Sound is the most physically isolated basin in the Fiordland system, with a very narrow entrance and shallow sill at ‘the Narrows’ inhibiting the exchange of deep water from the open coast. This physical structure means that all of the areas within the reserve are sheltered from oceanic swells and contain a constant and thick freshwater layer. Research has shown that the rock wall habitats in Long Sound contain unique suspension feeder communities and species like the eleven armed starfish whose genes are different to elsewhere in the fiords.
The Narrows contains the very delicate and internationally revered ‘strawberry fields’. This is an area with large congregations of the strawberry holothurian (sea cucumber), along with high densities of stony corals, including red coral. The inner regions of Long Sound are home to high densities of lampshells, tube worms and rock crab.