Lena Huia's Transect of Whapukapirau Bay

Whapukapirau Bay thumbnailLena 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)

This rich arras: Bay of Islands’ marine haunts, both widespread and rare

black rocksJohn Booth © 26 March 2015

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It’s all to do with scale.

Now unequivocally immersed in the Milky Way, and getting close to Earth, we spot two quite large land masses straddling ten degrees of temperate waters half way between the Equator and the great southern white. The northernmost thrusts boldly up into the subtropics, whereas to the south of the lower one lies a scatter of tiny islands hanging on in the face of the Furious Fifties. Occasionally icebergs are visible.

Transformed shores: those mangroves!

DW 130425 DHW2841John Booth © 31 August 2014
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Oh! Those mangroves. I never saw one that looked as if it possessed a decent conscience. Growing always in shallow stagnant water, filthy black mud, or rank grass, gnarled, twisted, stunted, and half bare of foliage, they seem like crowds of withered, trodden-down old criminals, condemned to the punishment of everlasting life. I can’t help if it seems fanciful. Anyone who has seen a mangrove swamp will know what I mean.1

Fish Forever Matters #2 - March 2015

 DHW4876Fish Forever Discusses Next Moves for Marine Reserves with Conservation Minister Maggie Barry

By Vince Kerr
Fish Forever Marine Reserve Campaign Co-ordinator

There are still no marine reserves in the Bay of Islands. What are our next steps?

Before Christmas, Fish Forever got stuck into considering the various scenarios and potential actions that could get us to that elusive goal line. Can we apply for the marine reserves without hapu support? Should we? What about the Government’s signalled intention to reform marine legislation?

A letter from the Minister of Conservation

maggie barryRead the Minister of Conservation, Maggie Barry's response to questions posed to her by Fish Forever regarding the establishment of marine reserves in the Bay of Islands...

Seagrass in the Bay of Islands: our last goodbye?

sg thumbBy John Booth © - 2 December 2013

Everyone has something to add. In conversations around the state of the waters of the Bay of Islands, it’s not long before the seagrass (= eelgrass) beds—or the spoiling of them—crops up. Whereas in previous times mangroves were often seen as the great ecological refuge, seagrass meadows have largely taken on that mantle—much to the relief of many who thought mangroves sucked anyway.

Flagging kelp: potent symbol of loss of mauri in the Bay of Islands

By John Booth 3 February 2015
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Sea urchins (kina) have eaten out much of the shallow-water kelp of the Bay of Islands, defiling the Bay's essential life force. There appears no other credible explanation for the kelp loss. Similar destruction has taken place in many other parts of New Zealand, as well as overseas. The experience is that sea urchins increase in abundance as their key predators become overfished; the sea urchins consume or destroy the kelp over the band of the urchins' depth distribution; and this leads to the collapse of natural functioning of shallow-water reef ecosystems.

Fish Forever Matters #1

PS8 12345Have you been wondering what’s happening with Fish Forever and its campaign for no-take marine reserves in the Bay of Islands? 

In fact, lots has been going on - but not much of it headline-grabbing.

Last go for a decade – perhaps forever – for Marine Reserves in the Bay of Islands

Written by Fish Forever's John Booth
published in the Russell Lights Thursday 29th May 2014

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No question about it. A highlight of any tiki-tour of New Zealand is when you get to rub limbs with one of our giant kauri, protected forever in its natural state within a forest remnant. Even we locals – who tend to take for granted this legacy – have our awe rekindled whenever we get to re-acquaint ourselves with one of these great spirits that link us with some remote past.

Proposals for reserve gains widespread support

Article from the Northern Advocate 25th October 2014...

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