Point 5 – Mataitai

Mataitai status or Community Fisheries Plan in the Whangateau Harbour.
Dense bed of cockles

Dense bed of cockles on the Whangateau Harbour seabed

Reasons: The cockle beds in the Whangateau are the best remaining in the Auckland Region. As many beds near Auckland have become depleted, or have been closed in an attempt to allow recovery, more pressure is applied to the Whangateau beds by people traveling here from greater Auckland. Current fisheries controls will be insufficient to prevent overfishing of the Whangateau shellfish beds. A Mataitai would allow more targeted controls to prevent future depletion of cockles in Whangateau. It is important that numbers remain very high in the harbour as this is a major reason for the clarity of the water. The cockles are so abundant that they filter out plankton and detritus, so that often the water leaving the harbour on a falling tide is clearer than that coming in from the open sea. A Mataitai or Community Fisheries Plan could also deal with the use of set nets in the harbour, which are indiscriminate bulk fishing methods inappropriate in this area.

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