Stu­dents in­vested in pa¯ua project

Kaikoura Star - - FRONT PAGE - EMMA DANGER­FIELD

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.’’

SUP­PLIED

Kaik­oura High School stu­dents are in­volved in a paua re­seed­ing pro­gramme which should boost pop­u­la­tions in ar­eas af­fected by the earth­quake.

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