Just where does the buck stop for shallow-reef kelp loss in the Bay of Islands? It has crept up on us. The process has been slow and steady – measured in decades. It’s only when we’re confronted with then-and-now photographs that the scale of injury becomes apparent.
Most of the shallow-reef kelp (to around 6-metres depth) in the main basin of the Bay of Islands has gone. The full implications of this loss of biological diversity are poorly understood, but are potentially enormous. ‘But why worry? There’s plenty more kelp deeper down.