Blow for fisheries as court win hands marine controls to councils

Fish life around the Rena remains during salvage operations. - Darryl Torckler

Fish life around the Rena remains during salvage operations. – Darryl Torckler

An attempt to save the marine life that flourished on Astrolabe Reef off Tauranga after the Rena was wrecked could now mean councils have more say on the way coastal areas, including fisheries, are managed. [Read more…]

Roger Grace Submission to the Hauraki Gulf Marine Spatial plan

Option One: Type 1 MPA Whangateau Harbour (Waikokopu Creek 185.3ha and Horseshoe Island 69.1ha)

RG1

Whangateau HarbourCare Group has since 2009 had plans for a Scientific Reserve in the southern arm of the harbour (Waikokopu Creek), extending the existing Omaha Taniko Wetlands Scientific Reserve (kahikatea forest) down to the low tide mark.  The area is a rich mosaic of saltmarsh, mangroves, seagrass, firm sand flats and rare coralline turf “rhodolith” balls.  Concept of Scientific Reserve rather than Marine Reserve is to allow future manipulation of small mangroves if they spread to compromise the open sand flats valuable to wading birds in the area. [Read more…]

Application For Temporary Closure at Otaiti

This requires urgent attention and submissions from lots of people because it is possible the exclusion zone may be lifted as soon as 11th February thus opening up the area to fishing after more than 4 years recovery from 100 years of too much fishing!  The local maori want to keep the area closed to fishing.  What a waste that would be, squandering 4 years of recovery for a few greedy weeks of fishing.

astralobe 1
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Revive our Gulf

Our mussel reef restoration project is increasing biodiversity and clearing the waters of the Hauraki Gulf in New Zealand

Revive Our Gulf

Te Muri: Why Do We Need No-Take Zones

A marine reserve for Te Muri?

A marine reserve for Te Muri?

Our Regional Parks are places where people expect to have an enjoyable recreational experience and to engage with the wonders of the natural world. A lot of effort is put in to restore forest and wetland habitats, and to encourage birds and other wildlife back into our Regional Parks. Unfortunately in the sea fishing is responsible for serious loss of abundance and diversity of life, and some would say fishing is an inappropriate activity adjacent to our Regional Parks. A Marine Reserve has been suggested for the sea adjacent to the new Te Muri Regional Park. I want to put this idea into a national and regional context.

[Read more…]

Towards a Marine Protected Areas Network for the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park

The following document is intended as a first draft to kick off a discussion of a network of marine protected areas for the Hauraki Gulf.  It was prepared late in 2014 for the Biodiversity and Biosecurity Round Table of the Marine Spatial Planning process, but there was little time for discussion within the group.  It was sent on to the Stakeholder Working Group for further discussion.

The draft network follows the established principles for a network of MPAs as further discussed in the document

SEASKETCH DRAFT MPAs NETWORK, SITE DESCRIPTIONS. 12 Dec 2014 update Roger Grace. For consideration by the Biodiversity and Biosecurity Round Table of the Marine Spatial Planning process for the HGMP.

Draft Type 1 MPA network for the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.

Draft Type 1 MPA network for the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.

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Ecological Services of Grey Mullet Lost Through Fishing

The humble grey mullet may have been an important vector in transporting sediment through our estuaries.  They were in huge abundance 100 years or so ago, but now are present in just a shadow of their former numbers.

When grey mullet were in huge numbers they would have been an important vector in transporting sediment through our estuaries, by swallowing mud in the upper estuary and releasing it near the estuary mouth.  Unfortunately there are so few left that this service is no longer effective

When grey mullet were in huge numbers they would have been an important vector in transporting sediment through our estuaries, by swallowing mud in the upper estuary and releasing it near the estuary mouth. Unfortunately there are so few left that this service is no longer effective

There are historic photos of clinker dinghies in the Kaipara Harbour, loaded to overflowing with mullet, many huge by todays standards and upwards of 70 cm long.

In my youth I saw a few schools of grey mullet while snorkeling, but then they “disappeared from the face of the earth”. Only in the last eight or so years have they been starting to come back, and I now frequently see adult grey mullet in the mangroves of Whangateau, and juveniles are seen in the lower reaches of the Brick Bay stream. A couple of years ago I saw a school of around 200 grey mullet, swirling around like a school of kahawai, in the Whangateau 100 metres or so below the Ti Point wharf.

[Read more…]