The Marlborough Sounds are an extensive network of sea-drowned valleys created by a combination of land subsidence and rising sea levels at the north of the South Island of New Zealand. A ria is a Landform, often referred to as a drowned river valley. In Geology, Engineering, and Surveying, subsidence is the motion of a surface (usually the Earth's surface as it shifts downward relative to The South Island is the larger of the two major islands of New Zealand, the other being the more populous North Island. New Zealand is an Island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses (the North Island and the South Island According to Māori mythology, the sounds are the prows of the sunken waka (canoe) of Aoraki. Māori mythology and Māori traditions are the two major categories into which the Legends of the Māori of New Zealand may usefully be divided In the Māori language and New Zealand English, waka (IPAwɔka are Māori watercraft usually Canoes ranging in size from small unornamented 
Covering some 4,000 km² of sounds, islands, and peninsulas, the Marlborough Sounds lie at the South Island's north-easternmost point, between Tasman Bay in the west and Cloudy Bay in the south-east. Tasman Bay is a large V-shaped bay at the north end of New Zealand 's South Island. Cloudy Bay is located at the northeast of New Zealand 's South Island, to the south of the Marlborough Sounds. The almost fractal coastline has 1/5th of the length of New Zealand's coasts. A fractal is generally "a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be split into parts each of which is (at least approximately a reduced-size copy of the whole" 
The steep, wooded hills and small quiet bays of the sounds are sparsely populated, as access is difficult. Many of the small settlements and isolated houses are only accessible by boat. The main large port is Picton on the mainland, at the head of Queen Charlotte Sound. Picton is a town in the Marlborough region of New Zealand. It is near the head of Queen Charlotte Sound near the north-east corner of the South Island Queen Charlotte Sound is the easternmost of the main sounds of the Marlborough Sounds, in New Zealand 's South Island. It is at the northern terminus of the South Island's main railway and State Highway networks. The New Zealand State Highway network is the major national highway network in New Zealand. The main small boat port is Waikawa which is one of New Zealand's largest and provides a base for leisure sailors and vacationers. Waikawa is a small settlement to the north east of Picton, Marlborough New Zealand.
The main sounds, other than Queen Charlotte Sound, are Pelorus Sound and Kenepuru Sound. Pelorus Sound is a long- Drowned valley in the Marlborough Sounds in New Zealand. Kenepuru Sound is one of the larger of the Marlborough Sounds in the South Island of New Zealand. Tory Channel is a major arm of Queen Charlotte Sound, and between them they isolate the hills of Arapawa Island from the mainland. Tory Channel is one of the drowned valleys that form the Marlborough Sounds in New Zealand. Arapawa Island is a small Island located in the Marlborough Sounds, at the north east tip of the South Island of New Zealand. Other islands in the sounds include D'Urville Island. D'Urville Island is an Island in the Marlborough Sounds along the northern coast of the South Island of New Zealand.
The main channels of the Marlborough Sounds have calm water and are popular for sailing. Sailing is the art of controlling a Sailing vessel. By changing the Rigging, Rudder and dagger or centre board a Sailor manages the force Cook Strait, however, is infamous for its strong currents and rough waters, especially when the wind is from the south or north. Because of this, some of the narrow channels closer to the Strait are notoriously dangerous. Notable amongst these is French Pass at the southern end of D'Urville Island, which has several vortices. A whirlpool is a swirling body of Water usually produced by ocean Tides.
The most notable shipwreck in the sounds is that of the Russian cruise liner Mikhail Lermontov, which sank in 1986 in Port Gore, close to the mouth of Queen Charlotte Sound, after striking rocks. The Mikhail Lermontov The Mikhail Lermontov, launched in 1972 was the last of the five "poet" ships ''Ivan Franko'', ''Taras Shevchenko'' Year 1986 ( MCMLXXXVI) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link displays 1986 Gregorian calendar) Port Gore is a bay and natural harbour at the northern end of the Marlborough Sounds in New Zealand. One life was lost in the incident.
The sounds were extensively travelled and partly inhabited by Māori groups before the coming of the Europeans, using the sounds as shelter from bad weather and partaking of the rich food sources. This article discusses the Māori people of New Zealand For their language see Māori language, and for other meanings see Māori (disambiguation. They were also known to carry their canoes over some stretches of land on portage paths. Portage refers to the practice of carrying a Canoe or other Boat over land to avoid an obstacle on the water route (such as Rapids or a Waterfall  However, like in most areas of the South Island, populations were thinner than in the North Island.
European history of the area is considered to start with Captain Cook's visit to the sounds in 1770s, dicovering a plant (Cooks scurvy grass) high in vitamin C which helped to cure scurvy amongst his crew. Captain James Cook FRS RN ( – 14 February 1779) was an English Explorer, Navigator and Events and trends For more events see 18th century United States Declaration of Independence ratified by the Continental Congress Vitamin C or L-ascorbate is an Essential nutrient for a large number of higher primate species a small number of other Mammalian Scurvy (NLat scorbutus is a disease resulting from a deficiency of Vitamin C, which is required for the synthesis of Collagen in humans On Motuara Island, Cook also proclaimed British sovereignty over the South Island.  Some parts of the sounds also later developed a significant whaling history, and much of the sounds was (thinly) settled by European farmers in the late 19th and early 20th century. Whaling is the hunting of Whales and dates back to at least 6000 BC
The Marlborough Sounds are connected to the Cook Strait at the north-east extreme. Cook Strait is a Strait between the North and South Islands of New Zealand. At this point, the North Island is at its closest to the South Island, and the inter-island road, rail, and passenger ferry service between Picton and Wellington travel through the sounds. The North Island is one of the two main islands of New Zealand, the other being the South Island. See also Merchant ship A ferry is a form of transport usually a Boat or Ship, used to carry (or ferry) passengers and Wellington (ˈwælɪŋtən is the Capital of New Zealand, the country's second largest urban area, the
Marine farming, especially of salmon and mussels, is increasingly common, having started in the 1960. Salmon is the common name for several species of Fish of the family Salmonidae. The common name mussel is used for members of several different families of Clams or Bivalve Molluscs, from both saltwater and freshwater habitats  However, the wakes caused by fast catamaran vehicular ferry services to the North Island have allegedly damaged farms and destroyed crab grounds. A wake is the region of Turbulence immediately to the rear of a solid body caused by the flow of Air or Water around the body A catamaran (From Tamil 'kattumaram' is a type of Multihulled Boat or Ship consisting of two hulls or vakas joined by some Crabs are decapod Crustaceans of the infraorder Brachyura, which typically have a very short projecting "tail" (βραχύ / brachy They were also blamed for stripping the local beaches bare of sand, and damaging landings and other facilities built close to the water's edge. This resulted in a dispute heard in the New Zealand Environment Court in the early 1990s, brought forward by the 'Guardians of the Sounds' group. The Environment Court of New Zealand ( Māori: Te Kooti Taiao o Aotearoa) is a specialist court for environmental issues within the court system of New However, the court not only refused to restrict the fast ferries, but also awarded NZ$ 300,000 in court costs to the citizen group having brought forward the case, which then seen as a strong blow against civic action, and a curtailing of the powers of the Resource Management Act. The Resource Management Act (RMA is a significant and at times controversial Act of Parliament passed in 1991 in New Zealand.
However, as damage increasingly became visible, and protests continued, the fast ferries (which only operated for the summer season) were eventually restricted to a lower speed of 18 kn in the sounds (officially for safety reasons), reducing their time advantage over the conventional ferries.  They have since been discontinued.
In July/August 2007, the 'Guardians of the Sounds' environmentalists are planning a 100-ship flotilla protest against scallops dredging in the sounds, which they consider damages the ecosystem of the sounds similar to bottom trawling in the open sea. A scallop (ˈskɒləp or /ˈskæləp/ is a marine Bivalve Mollusk of the family Pectinidae. Dredging is an Excavation activity or operation usually carried out at least partly underwater in shallow seas or Fresh water areas with the purpose of Trawling is a method of Fishing that involves pulling a large Fishing net through the water behind one or more boats The protest is intend to call attention to what they allege is the Ministry of Fisheries ignoring the detrimental effect of the practice. Commercial scallops harvesting companies have warned that protests could endanger lives if the protesters engaged in dangerous manoeuvres, while the Ministry of Fisheries has also noted that only 6% of the sounds are set aside for the dredging, though this had been much more extensive in the past.