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A Tribute to Bill Ballantine (1937-2015)

bill thumbWithout any doubt Bill's contribution to marine conservation is legendary stuff. I would argue that Bill sits in a class of his own in our short New Zealand history of marine conservation. Last year he released a paper reviewing 50 years of experience with marine reserves; the fact that it is 50 years of his own direct experience is testament to his commitment.

Smart Talk: Tangaroa and Poseidon - our oceans

snapperInteresting discussion on the worrying state of our fisheries:

"Wallace Chapman talks with marine scientists Dr Rochelle Constantine and Dr Tom Trnski, the musician Don McGlashan and the CEO of Sustainable Coastlines Sam Judd about the oceans which surround us. Among the many issues they traverse is the complex one of how we protect our marine reserves while still sustaining a fishing industry"


Are we ready for finfish aquaculture in Northland?

50.-Oyster-farm-2-465x261On Monday there was a press release revealing the council ambitions for a $300m aquaculture industry by 2030. On Friday, submissions close for the first step in this programme – a resource consent application from Waingaroa Fisheries Company Ltd to erect finfish farming structures, primarily for kingfish, in Owanga Bay, Whangaroa Harbour.

Endangered species: A hole in the net

swimming-with-dolphinsThis article appeared in the New Zealand Herald last weekend. While on the surface is it about marine mammals, the story it reveals is the environmental travesty that lies at the heart of our legislative. It is a "pass the buck" culture, which allows serious, hard decisions to be avoided, with the default position that economics wins the day, with "science" - adapted to suit the desired outcome - waved in our faces.

Current State of MPA Science

EscherINTERVIEW: In recent years, ecologist Joachim Claudet has been at the forefront of MPA science. His studies of European marine reserves — which found that the older and larger a marine reserve is, the greater the density of large fish inside it is — have held important implications for MPA network design and fisheries management (“Older and larger reserves have more large fish“, MPA News 10:11).

Hector's dolphin debate

While Hector's dolphins are not a central concern of Fish Forever, our friends in Akaroa are very worried about the plight of the species. There has been some debate over a recent report written by Dr Liz Slooten and Dr Nick Davies, with David Middleton challenging the validity of conservationist claims in the Dominion Post recently (the author of the study was accused of "cherry picking"). Here is a response from Barbara Maas that is posted here to enable those who have been following the debate to keep on doing just that!

A big weekend for marine conservation

A big weekend for marine conservation: five marine reserves were announced for the West Coast - the first ever for the entire South Island coast, and the Tawharanui Marine Reserve north of Auckland was opened by the Minister of Conservation.

Listen to Kennedy Warne interviewed on National Radio's Nine to Noon:

Five more marine reserves...

PS8-12345We watch with interest as five new marine reserves are set to be established on the west coast of the South Islands, as announced by Minister of Conservation Kate Wilkinson and Fisheries Minister Phil Heatley at the end of last week. What effect will this have on other potential sites? Will this open the doors wider for more protected sites or is it the grand finale of marine protection for this government?

Alarm over fish farms in the Far North

50.-Oyster-farm-2-465x261A meeting about aquaculture options for the Far North has set alarm bells ringing for conservation activist Dean Baigent-Mercer.

The Kaeo resident fears pristine coastal areas, such as Paradise Bay and Stephensons Island – out from Whangaroa Harbour – are being secretly targeted as locations for massive fish farms.

Te Rawhiti and Akaroa: updates

Firstly, congratulations to the community at Te Rawhiti who have maintained their own rahui at Maunganui Bay (also known as Deep water Cove) since 2009. The rahui finally has been accepted: "Pursuant to section 186a of the Fisheries Act 1996, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture has agreed to close Maunganui Bay to the take of all species of fish, aquatic life, or seaweed, with the exception of kina, for a period of two years from 1 December 2010 to 30 November 2012."

Fight for Marine Sanctuaries

A THUMBS-DOWN for a marine reserve at Akaroa Harbour in the South Island is firing up an environmental group's campaign for no-take marine sanctuaries in the Bay of Islands. The Bay of Islands Maritime Park Group and its working group Fish Forever aim to raise the profile of the Akaroa case, and are, with other environmental bodies, seeking a judicial review. Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson declined the Akaroa application on the grounds that while a marine reserve might enhance nature tourism, she was not satisfied that this would outweigh adverse effects on recreational fishers.

"One bad decision by a conservation minister cann ot be allowed to undermine future marine protection," Fish Forever committee chairwoman Julie Kidman says. 

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nudi spongeAll of us with an interest and love of Tangaroa, let's work together and take on the challenge of marine protection for the Bay.

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