Cockles returning to Pauatahanui Inlet
The health of Pauatahanui Inlet is being restored, judging by the big increase in cockle numbers recorded in the latest survey by the Guardians of Pauatahanui Inlet.
Cockle numbers are up 21 per cent from 277 million to 336 million since the last survey in 2010. They have grown a massive 87 per cent since 1995.
The cockle survey has been undertaken by Guardians of Pauatahanui Inlet every three years since 1992 and is analysed by National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research.
This, the eighth survey, was carried out in December 2013.
Volunteers assisting Guardians of Pauatahanui Inlet came from Ngati Toa Rangatira, Wellington Regional Council, Porirua City Council, Massey University, Conservation Volunteers and local residents.
Guardians of Pauatahanui Inlet chairman Tony Shaw said the results confirmed that the number of cockles was larger than in any of the previous surveys.
‘‘This is good for the cockles, but must also be an indication that the general ecological health of the inlet is improving,’’ he said.