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

Gordon Campbell: On The Fallout From The Barclay Tape

This is hardly a case of cleaning out your desk and being turfed out onto the pavement.

As others have pointed out, the disgraced Clutha-Southland MP will remain on the public payroll for three months until the election, and for three months afterwards. More>>

 

Ombudsman: Canterbury Schools Reorganisation Mishandled

An investigation into the Canterbury schools reorganisation after the February 2011 earthquakes has found significant gaps and flaws in the Ministry’s engagement and communications with schools and communities. More>>

ALSO:

Law Commission: Contempt Report "Protects Right To Fair Trial"

The proposed Act limits what news media representatives and bloggers can report on court proceedings, but it also makes clearer than the current law where the line is between contempt and freedom of expression. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Our Refugee Intake (And Uber’s Woes)

On figures released this week, there are currently 65.6 million people worldwide who have been displaced from their homes by war, famine or other external causes… More>>

ALSO:

IGIS Report: GCSB Support For Groser WTO Bid Not Illegal

“The inquiry has found that the GCSB did not act unlawfully or improperly in providing assistance to the New Zealand government campaign”, Ms Gwyn said. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: Pike And Houses

There were questions on Pike River mine re-entry after new video from inside the drift was released over the weekend. English maintained a human effort would not be feasible irrespective of any future coalition demands from NZ First. He said the government would continue to work with families on non-manned re-entry. More>>

ALSO:

Flogging A Dead Horse: NZ First Seeks New s59 Referendum

10 years on from the so called “anti-smacking” law - NZ First calls for a binding referendum. NZ First MP Tracey Martin told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that the law change has had a “chilling effect” on NZ parents including herself. More>>

ALSO:

Always Interesting: Internet Party Has New Leader

The Internet Party has a new leader: Suzie Dawson... She currently resides in Moscow, Russia, where she has applied for temporary asylum due to severe persecution she reports being subjected to by those whose corruption she worked to expose.More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog