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

 


Cockles Coming Back in Pauatahanui Inlet

Cockles Coming Back in Pauatahanui Inlet


The health of Pauatahanui Inlet is being restored, judging by the big increase in cockle numbers recorded in the latest survey by the Guardians of Pauatahanui Inlet (GOPI).

Cockle numbers are up 21% from 277 million to 336 million since the last survey in 2010 and have grown a massive 87% since 1995.

The Cockle Survey has been undertaken by GOPI every three years since 1992 and is analysed by National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA). GOPI will be reporting on the findings at its AGM tonight.

This 8th survey of the cockle population in the Pauatahanui Inlet arm of Porirua Harbour was carried out in December 2013.

Volunteers assisting GOPI came from Ngati Toa Rangatira, Greater Wellington Regional Council, Porirua City Council, Massey University, Conservation Volunteers and local residents.

The NIWA report on the survey confirmed our gut feeling on the day we carried out the survey that the number of cockles was larger than in any of our previous surveys, says GOPI Chairperson Tony Shaw.

“This is good for the cockles, but must also be an indication that the general ecological health of the Inlet is improving.”

He says a significant effort is going in to reducing contaminants and sediments entering the harbour, particularly with the implementation of the Porirua Harbour and Catchment Strategy and Action Plan on-going since 2012.

"The actions taken by Greater Wellington Regional Council, Porirua City Council, farmers and urban developers to drastically reduce the amount of sediment entering the Inlet are undoubtedly having a positive effect,” says Mr Shaw.

The cockles sampled ranged from 3mm to 40mm in length although some larger individuals measured up to 58mm in length. The numbers of juvenile cockles have also increased markedly from around 1.0% in 1992 to 16.2% in 2013.

Greater Wellington Regional Council Manager Biodiversity Tim Porteous says each survey has used the same design and methods.

“This has allowed us to make direct site, transect and tide level comparisons from survey to survey and cockle numbers are increasing at most of the sites sampled.”

There were some sites on the southern side of the Inlet where cockle numbers were lower than in the last survey in 2010, including at Seaview Road, Browns Bay and Duck Creek.

“At Browns Bay currents over the last decade have washed away the fine sediment leaving gravel and hard clay, mud has been accumulating at Duck Creek and the beach at Seaview Road was largely covered by sea lettuce,” Mr Porteous says.

“Excessive sea lettuce smothers the cockles and the current conditions at the other two sites are also not a good environment for them. It has to be remembered that the Inlet is dynamic environment so there has been improvement in some areas and deterioration in others, but overall the picture is very good.”

Porirua Harbour and Catchment Strategy and Action Plan Co-ordinator Keith Calder says this survey adds to the wealth of information being gathered about the harbour.

“While it is very early days in the implementation of the Harbour Strategy, it is pleasing to have an indication that we are heading in the right direction in reducing the sediment coming into the harbour.”

The full report by NIWA gives more detail and can be found at http://www.gopi.org.nz/cockle-survey-2/.


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

2040 Target And Lower Standards: “Swimmable” Rivers Five Times More Likely To Make You Sick

Forest & Bird has condemned the government’s new water quality standards, warning New Zealanders that they lock in current levels of water pollution and allow for a 5-fold increase in the chance of getting sick from swimming in a river.

“Despite an explicit assurance from Minister Smith that the new water standards would provide for human and ecosystem health, he has failed to deliver on either of these things,” says Forest & Bird CEO Kevin Hague. More>>

 
 

Mayor: 750 New Social And Affordable Homes For Wellington

The next stage of Wellington’s Housing Upgrade Programme will see at least 750 new units of social and affordable housing built over the next decade, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

22/2: Christchurch Quake Memorial Unveiled

A city, a region, a nation and an international community impacted by the Canterbury Earthquakes will come together to mark the sixth anniversary of the deadly quake and dedicate Oi Manawa Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial. More>>

ALSO:


November Quakes:

Gordon Campbell: On The Mana-Maori Party Deal

If the self-interest involved wasn’t so blatant, the electorate deal between the Maori Party and Hone Harawira would be kind of poignant. It’s a bit like seeing the remaining members of Guns’n’Roses or the Eagles back on the road touring the nostalgia circuit… playing all the old hits of Maori unity and kaupapa Maori politics. More>>

ALSO:

Private Provision: First Social Bond To Focus On Mental Health

New Zealand’s first social bond will help around 1700 people with mental illness into work, Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Social Investment Minister Amy Adams say. More>>

ALSO:

Immigration: Short Reprieve For Nine Indian Students

A temporary hold on deportations of nine Indian students is a step in the right direction but the Government urgently needs to implement safeguards to stop further injustices to more international students, the Green Party says. More>>

EARLIER:


Megaupload Case: High Court Rules Dotcom, Co-Accused Eligible For Extradion

Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and his three co-accused are eligible for extradition to the United States, New Zealand's High Court ruled... Justice Murray Gilbert upheld a decision by the District Court that there were grounds for Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato to be extradited. More>>

ALSO:

PREVIOUSLY:

Port Hills Fire: Midday Update, Monday 20 February

• 9 homes destroyed
• 2 homes with partial damage. Damage includes things like cracked windows, heat damage.
• 3 properties with damage to other external structures e.g sheds or outbuildings More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news