Va­ri­ety of life found in es­tu­ary

CHB Mail - - NEWS -

Po­ran­ga­hau Es­tu­ary is lo­cated at the mouth of the Po­ran­ga­hau River in south­ern Hawke’s Bay.

It is a long, nar­row es­tu­ary formed be­hind a low, long­shore bar.

It has a va­ri­ety of es­tu­ar­ine habi­tats in­clud­ing salt­marsh, in­ter­tidal sand and mud­flats, and shal­low tidal chan­nels.

At around 750ha it is the largest es­tu­ary on the North Is­land’s east coast south of O¯ hiwa Har­bour, dom­i­nat­ing about 14km of coast­line. The es­tu­ary is a wildlife area of na­tional sig­nif­i­cance, pro­vid­ing roost­ing, feed­ing and breed­ing ar­eas for com­mon and rare coastal bird species in­clud­ing mi­gra­tory waders. The es­tu­ary is also an im­por­tant spawn­ing and nurs­ery habi­tat and feed­ing ground for na­tive fish and is an area of great sig­nif­i­cance to Nga¯ ti Kere. Twenty cus­tom­ary fish­ing sites ex­ist be­tween Po­ran­ga­hau town­ship and the sea and the es­tu­ary con­tin­ues to be an im­por­tant source of flat­fish, ka­hawai, eels and white­bait.

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