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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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | 027 243-1777

Help these guys grow old in the
Maunganui Bay / Deep Water Cove Rahui!

Support the rollover of the Rahui for another two years!



put the big ones backno fishingdolphins in distressvol fishing accordsedimentationREPORT MARINE PESTS

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Reversing the decline

troubleThe Bay of Islands sparkles on the surface, but underneath life is in trouble. The teeming marine life that greeted past generations is now a shadow of its former self. There are many things we can do to reverse the decline. Let's all make changes on the water and on land that will help to rebuild what we love. Future generations must be able to enjoy Tangaroa's abundance. [Read more...]

 Some of the marine protection tools that can start to reverse the decline:

No-take areas deliver

Like we are already beginning to see in the Maunganui Bay rahui, no-take areas are the quickest way to enable marine life to thrive - for recovery, spillover, education, science, tourism and a fantastic snorkelling exprience! [Read more...]

No-take areas boost reproduction

New research confirms adult snapper in the Leigh Marine Reserve boost snapper abundance in surrounding waters. This small marine reserve is punching well above its weight, contributing 10% of juvenile snapper between the Hen and Chicks and Whangaparoa.  [Read more...]




Hapu can lead they way using tools in the Customary Fisheries Legislation to rebuild local fish stocks. Ngati Kuta and Patukeha have done this well with the Maunganui Bay Rahui. Ngā Hapū o Taiamai ki Te Marangi established the 20 sq km Te Puna Mātaitai which excludes commercial fishing. We look forward to the kaitiaki setting bylaws to manage the recreational fishing in this area. [Read more...]


Manage for more fish


Let’s choose to manage our fisheries to have more fish in the sea. Historically NZ's fisheries management decisions have been based on trying to keep fish stocks at just 20% of natural abundance. Managing for 50% natural abundance would mean more fish, bigger fish. [Read more...]

Voluntary fishing accord


Our ever increasing population and technology has put enormous pressure on fish stocks in the Bay of Islands. This is our new reality.  Here's some simple actions all of us who fish can take to conserve our stocks. [Read more...]

Dolphins in distress!


We're loving them to death! In the Bay of Islands 75% of calves die before reaching adulthood... [Read more...]

Sedimentation is a killer


Things we do on land affects the amount of fish in the sea. Loss of sediment-trapping wetlands means 500,000 tonnes 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. [Read more...]

Keep marine pests out


Like possums and stoats on land, marine pests have huge potential to wreak havoc on our native marine life. Let's keep them out of the Bay of Islands! [Read more...]


Good reads:


no take vs partial protection

put the big ones back


bring on the science

where to see lots of fish


know where you can dump



mimiwhangata thumbMarine parks are not administered by the Department of Conservation, but are managed under the Fisheries Acts or under their own special legislation. Although marine parks established under the Fisheries Act 1983 continue to be protected, as of the Fisheries Act 1996, no new marine areas can be protected under fisheries legislation.

New Zealand has two marine parks (Mimiwhangata and Tawharanui [internal LINKS to case studies] ) under the Fisheries Act. The Hauraki Gulf Marine Park was established under its own special legislation, the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act 2000. What can we expect of a Marine Park? That depends on what rules are imposed and enforced, and these can be highly variable.

Tawharanui Marine Park

tawharanui thumbThe rules for Tawharanui are similar to a Marine Reserve - no-take and no-dump - and compliance is good as it adjoins an Auckland Regional Park with lots of observers and managers. The effects are spectacular, with a substantial recovery of populations of targeted species such as snapper and crayfish. You can find out more about Tawharanui on DOC’s website. 

Note that this marine park has actually “come out of the closet” and was declared an official marine reserve in September 2010 after a successful application.

Mimiwhangata Marine Park

Mimiwhangata Marine Park is the opposite of Tawharanui, with exclusion of only commercial fishing and a few extra restrictions on recreational fishing. As a “Park” it has been popular, with a higher concentration of recreational fishers and hunter-gatherers diving there. The effect is that the sizes and densities of snapper and crayfish within the Park are lower than adjoining unprotected areas. Loved nearly to death, the local community is now trying to establish it as an area with greater protection. See this Forest & Bird article for more information.

Dr Roger Grace discusses the relative successes of Tawharanui and Mimiwhangata in this video. At the 2011 EDS conference he presented this paper and associated slide show to illustrate his findings over three decades of study at these two very different incarnations of New Zealand “Marine Parks”.


Hauraki Gulf Marine Park

The Hauraki Gulf Marine Park is a bit of a misnomer, in that it includes adjoining protected lands (ie. a Maritime Park) and does not have any additional, enforceable protective rules (just those pre-existing under the Fisheries regulations and the Regional Coastal Plans).

Recent monitoring for the 2011 triennial report confirmed the continuing decline reported in 2008. It also went further and compared its current condition with its original natural condition, which most folk cannot even conceive of, and found massive degradation in both fish stocks and habitats. You can find a popular summary here and the 2011 State of the Environment reports here.

Latest news

Wrecked Reefs by John Booth - Russell Review Article

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 –…

Bay of Islands Recreational Fishing Report - John Booth

Recreational fishing in the Bay of Islands: intense pressure contributes to stress on fishstocks and to local ecological degradation. By John Booth,…

Kina and their effect on algal communities in the Bay of Islands

Rocky shores around New Zealand have areas in water depths of between about three to eleven metres where there is little (and sometimes no) kelp. In…

Maunganui Bay rahui rolled for a further two years!

A huge thank you to Ngati Kuta and Patukeha hapu for intitiating and extending this rahui. The area has now been protected since 2010. The Ministry…

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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