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Haurika Gulf’s in trouble

March 10, 2021 March 2021 No Comments

Here are some of the highlights;

  • Crayfish are functionally extinct in the Hauraki Gulf, once one of its most abundant species.
  • In the two decades since establishment, no-take marine protection has increased just 0.05 per cent, to 0.3 per cent inside the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. (The internationally sanctioned goal is 100 times that figure.)
  • Recreational catch of snapper has decreased 27 per cent in the six years from 2011, either because of changes in catch limits, reduced fish stocks, or both.
  • Commercial catch has increased 30 per cent in the 20 years since the marine park was established.
  • There have been ten mass mortality events of fish and shellfish in the gulf in the past ten years—largely relating to adverse environmental conditions—and nine toxic algal blooms in the nine years 2000-2019.
  • 3730 tonnes of nitrogen flow into the Firth of Thames from rivers in Hauraki each year, and it’s increasing. (Auckland’s two largest waste water plants contribute just 245 tonnes per year.) Fish farming would increase this nutrient load.
  • 38 per cent of 50 monitored sites are not safe enough to swim 10 per cent of the time. Three sites are never safe to swim.
  • In 2000, four per cent of our seabirds were threatened with extinction. Today it’s 20 per cent. There are just 36 adult fairy terns left. Black petrels will not survive the current levels of by-catch in commercial fishing gear.
  • Invasive marine species have more than doubled in 20 years, from 66 species to 144.

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