Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Wave rider to help marine farm investigation

Wave rider to help marine farm investigation

A sophisticated high-tech device that rides the ocean waves will play a key role in assessing the future of marine farming in the Bay of Plenty.

Purpose-built in Canada for Environment Bay of Plenty, the 1m-wide buoy has been placed in a central position within the curve of the Bay of Plenty coast. Located 13km off Pukehina Beach, it will monitor the ocean’s currents and waves for the next five years.

Regulation and monitoring committee chairman Ian Noble says the data will give scientists valuable practical information on the dynamics of the region’s offshore environment. Interested people can look up the results on the regional council’s website www.envbop.govt.nz under What’s New.

Mr Noble says the information – and the patterns it will reveal – has “huge potential value” for the council’s work. Measurements of wave direction, speed and height during storms can help the council set safe minimum floor levels on coastal buildings. They may also help it understand coastal erosion in specific areas.

But the buoy’s major task will be to feed scientific data into a long-term project being run by Environment Bay of Plenty to assess the sustainability of aquaculture in the Bay of Plenty.

Marine farming is a fast-growing and lucrative industry in New Zealand, with the Aquaculture Council predicting export earnings will exceed $1 billion by 2020. Because it is fairly new in many parts of the country, many regional councils do not yet have proper planning frameworks for dealing with applications for larger marine farms.

To give them time to catch up, the Government has set a two-year moratorium on marine farming that ends in March 2004. Before then, Environment Bay of Plenty has to start working out defined aquaculture management areas (AMAs), or zones suitable for marine farming, in the Bay of Plenty.

However, to do that, it is “absolutely vital that we know what level of farming the marine environment can handle without it affecting the local ecology or kaimoana resource,” explains senior environmental planner Aileen Lawrie. “Our priority is to keep the marine environment safe.”

Coupled with a regular sampling project, the wave rider buoy will have a key role because the information it collects will help scientists analyse the flow of nutrients and food sources (or phytoplankton) in the offshore environment.

“Mussels sift an amazing amount of food from the water so mussel farms can have a huge impact on the local ecology. We need the sort of information the buoy can give us to find out how much marine farming is sustainable here. In land-based terms, is it one paddock or 10?”

Internationally renowned scientist Dr Kerry Black has been contracted to create numerical modelling programmes from the data.

The buoy, which will be lit at night for safety reasons, has an inbuilt satellite sensor so it can be located if it moves away from the site.

CAPTION: A high-tech buoy, located offshore from Pukehina, will give scientists valuable information on the dynamics off the marine environment. Up-to-date data, including wave speed and height, is posted on Environment Bay of Plenty’s website www.envbop.govt.nz.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news