Students invested in pa¯ua project
Kaiko¯ura High School students have been given the opportunity to make a real difference for the future of their local marine environment through a pa¯ua reseeding programme.
A group of Year 9 and 10 students have done a lot of work over the past two terms covering syllabus on the pa¯ua resource, as part of the community based pa¯ua recovery education project, which is funded by the Ministry for Primary Industries earthquake recovery fund.
Part of the syllabus covers enhancement to wild stock, and the students recently released 8,000 juvenile pa¯ua, measuring an average of less than 13mm, off the Esplanade in Kaiko¯ura with chairman of Pa¯ua Management Action Committee 3 Jason Ruawai.
Ruawai said reseeding juvenile pa¯ua was a good way to increase biomass in targeted selected locations, particularly those areas which were most heavily damaged by the November 2016 earthquake.
Their progress will be monitored, as well as follow-up surveys, as part of the project, and students would be able to design surveys to detail rates of growth and mortality in the future, Ruawai said. More work would be carried out by year 13 students next term, including more microscopic entry looking at the process to settle swimming larvae into the wild.
The juvenile pa¯ua were grown in the Marlborough Sounds at Arapawa Seafarms by Mike and Antonia Radon, and were are part of the 170,000 that were produced from last spring spawning, of which 150,000 will be released in the Kaiko¯ura area as part of a separate project. They come from Kaiko¯ura brood stock that are used for producing pearls in the pa¯ua farm.
Ruawai said PauaMAC3 together with willing com- munity stakeholders were developing a locally based pa¯ua hatchery. Arapawa Seafarms had been great in offering intellectual property, he said.
As well as giving local stakeholders the opportunity to get involved, he hoped the recovery project may even spark some interest in the students for their future studies.
‘‘The recovery project is great in terms of drawing in community stakeholders to assist with recovery and learn about all aspects of the resource, but as a side benefit if it promoted students into further tertiary education in Marine Science the opportunity could exist for a local student to complete a thesis on the effects of the earthquake and recovery,’’ he said.
‘‘If that did happen then as a community we could look back and say that we took the opportunity.’’
Kaikoura High School students are involved in a paua reseeding programme which should boost populations in areas affected by the earthquake.