Cock­les counted

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

They turned out in their dozens to get their hands in the mud.

The Pau­ata­hanui In­let cockle count, which takes place ev­ery three years, was held in sunny weather on Sun­day.

The count is one of many in­di­ca­tors the re­gional coun­cil and Porirua City Coun­cil use to test the health of the in­let.

Guardians of Pau­ata­hanui In­let’s for­mer chair­man, John Wells, said vol­un­teers from the two coun­cils, Ngati Toa and Massey Univer­sity were wel- come ad­di­tions and bol­stered num­bers to about 115.

The count has been held since 1991, with cock­les an­a­lysed from 31 sites around the in­let.

The dis­tri­bu­tion and size of the cock­les had stayed steady for 22 years, Mr Wells said, in­di­cat­ing the area was in rel­a­tively good shape.

‘‘Since 1992 [when the first re­sults were known] the cockle pop­u­la­tion has been sta­ble. But we can’t be sure of the cur­rent state un­til we get this sur­vey’s re­sults,’’ he said.

The re­sults will be posted on the Guardians’ web­site.

Porirua Har­bour Strat­egy co­or­di­na­tor Keith Calder said the big three chal­lenges iden­ti­fied in the strat­egy were to re­duce sed­i­men­ta­tion, re­duce pol­lu­tion and re­store the ecol­ogy of the har­bour.

He said the cockle sur­vey was an im­por­tant piece of the data Porirua Har­bour Strat­egy col­lected.

Mr Wells said Ngati Toa and the coun­cils had shown in­ter­est in do­ing a cockle count on the Onepoto arm of Porirua Har­bour.

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