Rocky shores around New Zealand have areas in water depths of between about three to eleven metres where there is little (and sometimes no) kelp. In a number of places these areas only have algal felts or low turfs and many kina (sea urchins). Initially this was thought to be the natural state. Researchers here and overseas have since found such barrens are the result of intensive browsing by sea urchins that prevents kelp regrowth. (April 2016)
LIFE BENEATH THE WAVES: WAEWAETOREA, A VERY SPECIAL PLACE, presented by Vince Kerr
Free public talk on Thurs 21 Jan 2016 | 7pm social/bar | 7.30pm talk | Theatre Terrace & Bar, Turner Ctr, Kerikeri | Koha
Waewaetorea and its surrounds in the Eastern Bay of Islands is something of an ecological gem. There is an astonishingly diverse array of habitats that supports an incredible range of marine species and communities. Many would argue that this area has international standing for its biodiversity.
Wade is an experienced diver, prolific author and researcher, a marine reserve advocate and an all-round enthusiast for ocean systems and the biota that inhabit them. He has always supported Fish Forever’s work and so it’s a pleasure to be able to let him speak for himself here.
It also allowed him to give a timely tribute to Bill Ballantine, the father of marine conservation in New Zealand, who died earlier this month. (Nov 2015)
Voice of Land and Sea is a new talk series exploring the Bay of Islands’ natural world, hosted by Fish Forever and Living Water.
This monthly talk series will reveal fascinating aspects of the Bay of Islands ecological landscape, celebrate its uniqueness and challenge us to be guardians of it. We hope to encourage people to connect with their environment on a deeper level: to gain more pleasure from their own backyard and raise awareness about the importance of preserving it.
Welcome to Fish Forever's global and local news update for November 2015. First, we would like to acknowledge the life of a true legend of marine conservation, Bill Ballantine, who died this week, aged 78. Without his many years of advocacy work, Fish Forever may not have existed. You can read Vince Kerr's tribute to Bill Ballantine here.
Sept 2015: Derry has been heavily involved in local marine ecology during the course of his teaching career. He was part of two previous attempts to set up a marine reserve in the Bay. He's pleased to be involved in Fish Forever and the team is delighted to be able to draw on his historical experience. Derry is known locally for teaching many people in the Bay of Islands to sail.
May 2015: Fish Forever’s baited underwater video project around Urupukapuka, Okahu and Waewaetorea is underway. The project is designed and led by Vince Kerr and supported by Arianna Hemi (studying marine science at Bay of Plenty Polytechnic), with Arethusa as the team’s research vessel, skippered by Dean Wright. A total of 24 sites have been set up and, just for fun, a camera was dropped at the end of the wharf at Otehei Bay, which is a voluntary no-take fish-feeding site.
In June 2015 we caught up with Arianna Hemi, who is assisting Vince Kerr with the Baited Underwater Video project, to find out what it is that drives her.
“Yes, I am a Northland girl – born and bred! I lived in Kaeo for the majority of my life and I’ve always been infatuated with the ocean. One day I saw a course in the Bay Chronicle called Marine Adventure and Ecotourism and I decided to enroll. I learnt all about the marine environment and it sparked a passion within me to work towards a degree in science. (News: July 2015)
Dean Wright lives and breathes the ocean. His home is one of the original small cottages overlooking Opito Bay, the Kerikeri Inlet, and then out on to the wider Bay of Islands. From here, he also has a bird’s eye view of his boat, Arethusa. As a photographer, he creates magical seascapes, often using long exposures at dawn and dusk, exploring "the edges of light". Dean’s most recent photography exhibition, Days at Sea, opens this week at Kaan Zamaan in Kerikeri. (News: July 2015)
The Booth family have resided in the Bay of Islands for a long time...and there are quite a few of them. This band of brothers has an important thing in common: in their own way, they are all change agents, with a keen eye on the preservation of Aotearoa’s – and especially Peiwhairangi’s - native and natural beauty. Not content to accept the status quo (read: slow decline) in our environment, each has played their part in local ecological restoration – both the doing part of it as well as the tricky job of raising awareness in the community. (News: May/June 2015)
Since the publication of the submission report late last year (along with some encouraging press coverage) followed by our conversation with Minister Maggie Barry earlier this year, the Fish Forever team is working hard to find the best path forward to reach our goals. Our commitment is steadfast (we still want marine reserves!) but the story is multi-layered and every decision has its own set of complications. (News: May/June 2015)
Lena Huia Booth (12) has had a long connection with the ocean – she has been sailing with her family since she was born and learnt to snorkel when she was seven. Her family is very much entwined in the natural environment of the Bay of Islands, living on their old family land in the Kerikeri Basin, close to the water. Her father, Chris Booth, is known locally and internationally for his large-scale sculptures that consistently draw our attention to the environmental landscape. Little wonder that Lena Huia has the initiative to start her own project, casting a keen, young eye on what is going on in our waters. (News: May/June 2015)