Ma­rine im­prove­ment plan launched

Hawke's Bay Today - - LOCAL NEWS -

Hawke’s Bay cel­e­brated World Oceans Day with the launch of a ma­rine im­prove­ment re­search project.

The Hawke’s Bay Ma­rine and Coastal Group Re­search Roadmap was launched by Min­is­ter of Fish­eries and Napier MP Stuart Nash at East Pier Con­fer­ence Cen­tre on Fri­day af­ter­noon.

More than 50 peo­ple from the groups and or­gan­i­sa­tions in­volved in the de­vel­op­ment of the re­search roadmap at­tended the event, which was a cul­mi­na­tion of 18 months col­lab­o­ra­tive work by the Hawke’s Bay Ma­rine and Coastal Group.

The group in­cludes recre­ational and com­mer­cial fish­ers, tan­gata whenua, Fish­eries New Zealand, the De­part­ment of Con­ser­va­tion and Hawke’s Bay Re­gional Coun­cil sci­ence staff.

The roadmap pro­posed three re­search ar­eas: f i sheries; ecosys­tems and habi­tats; and ter­res­trial and coastal link­ages.

Nash said he was in­volved in the first dis­cus­sions about the state of the Hawke’s Bay fish­eries and com­pli­mented the group on the plan they had achieved.

De­ci­sions about the fu­ture of re­gion’s fish­eries and ma­rine area would have to be based on facts and re­search.

“We all want abun­dant fish­eries, so things need to change.

“I know our lo­cal fish­eries will look dif­fer­ent in 30 years.

“We have to be in­no­va­tive . . . but as well as be­ing in­no­va­tive with the gear fish­er­men use, we also have to be in­no­va­tive in how we com­mu­ni­cate with our in­dus­try and the com­mu­nity.”

Hawke’s Bay Re­gional Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive James Palmer said he ac­knowl­edged the recre­ational fish­ers who ini­tially raised their con­cerns about the state of the fish­eries and the re­sponse in terms of lead­er­ship from com­mer­cial fish­ers who looked at dif­fer­ent ways of op­er­at­ing.

Both in­ter­ests had worked con­struc­tively to help de­velop the re­search roadmap.

“The con­ver­sa­tion has changed to be about the whole ma­rine ecosys­tem and the im­pacts on it.”

Be­cause dif­fer­ent govern­ment de­part­ments and coun­cils had dif­fer­ent re­spon­si­bil­i­ties in the ma­rine and en­vi­ron­men­tal area, “for the fore­see­able fu­ture, the only way f or­ward is by work­ing to­gether”, he said.

Palmer said gain­ing ev­ery­one’s co-op­er­a­tion to­wards the re­search be­fore it hap­pened had been im­por­tant, as it freed up the dis­cus­sion to be about the an­swers to the so­lu­tions rather than a po­ten­tial de­bate on how the sci­ence was done.

“The real heavy lift­ing is to come, in com­mis­sion­ing the sci­ence and de­cid­ing what to do with the re­sults.”

Jonathan Dick, gen­eral man­ager of the as­set hold­ing com­pany f or the Nga¯ ti Kahun­gunu f i sheries set­tle­ment, who spoke on be­half of iwi, said the roadmap aligned with the iwi’s vi­sion for manag­ing all the im­pacts, maunga to moana (moun­tain to the sea).

“If Tan­garoa is abun­dant, the peo­ple will thrive.”

The Hawke’s Bay Ma­rine and Coastal Group Re­search Roadmap aims to achieve a healthy and func­tion­ing ma­rine ecosys­tem by i mprov­ing un­der­stand­ing of this zone.

The group was es­tab­lished fol­low­ing con­cerns about the lo­calised de­ple­tion of in­shore f i nfish stocks and en­vi­ron­men­tal degra­da­tion in the Hawke’s Bay sea area.

Part of the re­search would be find­ing out what ef­fect ac­tiv­i­ties on the land was hav­ing on the sea and the sub­ti­dal ecosys­tems and how these might be chang­ing.

Not enough is known about l ocal f i sheries, where the com­mon fish species spawn and how they mi­grate.

The group is plan­ning a cit­i­zen sci­ence ap­proach to gather i nfor­ma­tion f rom recre­ational and com­mer­cial fish­ers and to use tra­di­tional knowl­edge.

PHOTO / PAUL TAY­LOR

Min­is­ter of Fish­eries and Napier MP Stuart Nash speaks at the launch of the Hawke’s Bay Ma­rine and Coastal Group Re­search Roadmap at the East Pier Con­fer­ence Cen­tre on Fri­day.

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