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What does Fish Forever do?

We promote and support marine protection initiatives within, near and beyond New Zealand's Bay of Islands.
We meet the last Thursday of every month in Paihia and welcome new members.
Please get in touch | 027 243-1777

Suffocating sediment

500,000 t of silt surges down our rivers and out into the Bay of Islands each year. It's a silent killer smothering shellfish beds and kelp forests, and turning rock seabeds to mud.


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Sedimentation is destroying vital marine habitat in the Bay

Quick facts

siltThis is approximately what 500,000 t of sediment looks like by volume. Enough to create a pile on a rugby field 51 m high!

graphBreak down of contributors to Bay of Islands sedimentation

How much

  • In the last 150 years, sedimentation has been 22 times greater than the last 10,000 years!
  • Approx 500,000 t of silt surges down our rivers to be deposited in Bay of Islands waters every year.
  • That's 2.4 mm on the seabed each year.

It covers shellfish beds, displaces kelp forests, turns rock seabeds to mud, and extinguishes important deepwater habitats.

Where it comes from

  • Beef and dairy farming contribute 51%.
  • Clear felled pine forests contribute 19%.

Native forest and manuka scrubland contribute a miniscule 5%, even though they make up 20% of the land cover.

 Read more:


Photo: Dean Wright / Oneshot


What can we can do to reduce it?

riparian plantingPhoto: Dean Wright / OneshotRiparian planting, wetland restoration, sediment traps – and generally being savvy about slowing rates of runoff during heavy rains – can reduce the dirtying of our waters and minimise sedimentation.

NRC has more information here 

Fish Forever's sister working group Living Waters has three riparian planting projects currently underway, all volunteers welcome!

living waters bay of islands

Visit Living Waters website here 



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Join Fish Forever

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.

Annual Membership Rates:
Student/concession - $15.00
Affiliate (please name organistation) - $15.00
Individual - $25.00
Family - $35.00

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