For decades Kaikoura has been recognised to have one of New Zealand’s richest marine environments.
The nutrient rich water not only attracts a variety of whales like the endangered sperm whale, but also supports New Zealand fur seal colonies, a variety of seabirds, dusky and common dolphins and even the world’s smallest and rarest dolphin – the endangered Hector’s dolphin.
This marine environment is also home to a variety of fish including sharks and rays that depend on the abundant food supplies and unique habitat types found around Kaikoura
Forest and Bird, like many in Kaikoura, have recognised the importance of this marine environment and the need for its protection due to the rising threats such as fishing, habitat destruction, pollution and potential mining.
In 1992 Forest & Bird proposed a marine reserve around part of the Kaikoura Peninsula to protect the diverse sea-life found in these waters and its various intertidal habitats, but this was eventually shelved by the government.
In 2002 the Te Runanga o Kaikoura and the Kaikoura Marine and Coastal Protection Society proposed a section rahui around the Waiopuka reef on the Kaikoura Peninsula. This no take rahui was created due to growing concerns over the pressure from recreational, commercial and customary harvests depleting fish stocks.
Since 2002 the rahui has been renewed three times and will remain in place until 17 August 2012. This small rahui and a small set net closure area along the coast are the only current forms of protection around Kaikoura.
Many groups agreed that greater protection was needed, and eventually the local iwi Ngati Kuri’s spearheaded a plan to protect this treasured piece of water and coastal habitat by creating theTe Korowai coastal marine guardian group.
For the last six years the Te Korowai o Te Tai o Marokura, a group made up of commercial and recreational fishermen, and representatives from the Runanga, Department of Conservation, Kaikoura District Council, local businesses and Forest & Bird, have been working on a marine protection strategy.
Te Korowai Marine Strategy
On the 1st of September Te Korowai released the marine strategy ‘sustaining our sea’.
The strategy is a good starting point but more protection is needed to fulfil the overall objectives. Forest & Bird believes Te Korowai has not met all of the objectives of the Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Policy. Specifically, it does not protect:
“representative examples of the full range of marine communities and ecosystems and outstanding, rare, distinctive or nationally important marine habitats” (MPA Policy).
Now the Te Korowai marine strategy is out for public consultation. Forest & Bird encourages people to submit on the proposed marine strategy to help to protect the marine environment around Kaikoura.
Use the attached documents to help write your submission.
There are also two submission guides: quick and in depth. The quick submission guide is to help people write a submission if they only have a few minutes. The indepth submission guide is to help people write a more detailed submission.
Here is a submission template which can be downloaded and modified before sending.
Submissions are due before December 2nd 2011.
Submissions can be emailed to email@example.com or posted to: Te Korowai o Te Tai o Marokura, Submissions, POBox 303, Nelson 7040, New Zealand
Please contact Forest & Bird Marine Conservation Advocate Katrina Subedar for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org or 04 8012210