Introduction

Over 300 Far Northerners took the plunge into Seaweek 2011 via a touring roadshow that provided a glimpse into ‘the world that lies beneath the waves’.

Over 300 Far Northerners took the plunge into Seaweek 2011 via a touring roadshow that provided a glimpse into ‘the world that lies beneath the waves’.

Students from Kaitaia Intermediate took time out from the class room to find out more about marine conservation.
Students from Kaitaia Intermediate took
time out from the class room to find out
more about marine conservation

‘Our Oceans in Focus’ completed its two week tour of the Far North in Whangaroa on Saturday night. The roadshow has given audiences in Houhora, Kaitaia, Whangaroa and Waitangi a photographic glimpse into the marine world of Greenpeace activist and photographer, marine biologist Dr Roger Grace.

Dr Grace used images from locations including the Mediterranean, Antarctica, the Pacific and India, as well as his own personal experiences while taking the photos, to illustrate the plight of the global marine environment through harmful fishing practises such as drift nets, purse seining and long lining.

Co-organiser, DOC Community Relations Manager in Kaitaia, Carolyn Smith said the presentation was well received and elicited plenty of comments from the audience.

“It was interesting to talk to commercial fishermen who have seen the impact of increased pressure on fish stocks even in our shores,” said Ms Smith.

Following the Kaitaia show, the Komiti Takutaimoana and Te Runanga O Te Rarawa gave a brief presentation on their work with whale recovery and rescue, and a rahui at Tauroa Point that has been in place since 1st November 2009.

The rahui was initiated following concerns over falling paua numbers. Since the rahui was introduced, monitoring has shown a significant increase in paua numbers, although outside the rahui area, paua numbers are continuing to decline.

Te Runanga O Te Rarawa Environmental coordinator, Rongo Bentson says the roadshow was a great opportunity to explain their work to the Kaitaia community.

“It gave us a chance to promote the komiti’s work and to increase awareness about the need to work together to protect kaimoana and marine resources for the future,” said Mr Bentson. 

The roadshow was sponsored in the Far North by Greenpeace, the Department of Conservation, NZAEE, Far North Environment Centre, Fish Forever and ITM Mangonui, with free venues courtesy of Houhora Big Game & Sportfishing Club, Houhora Gamefish Club, Te Runanga O Te Rarawa and Copthorne Hotel & Resort Bay of Islands.

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