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

 

Parliament Today:

'When New' Repairs: Landmark EQC Settlement

The Earthquake Commission has cut a deal with 98 Canterbury homeowners that affirms the government entity's responsibility to repair earthquake-damaged property to a 'when new' state, as well as covering repairs for undamaged parts of a property and clarifying its position on cash settlement calculations. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Kiwirail’s Latest Stint In The Dogbox

The denigration of Kiwirail continues. The latest review (based on a 2014 assessment) of the options facing the company have enabled Kiwirail to be hung out to dry once again as a liability and burden on the taxpayer. More>>

ALSO:

Royal Society Report: Good Opportunities To Act Now On Climate Change

There are many actions New Zealand can and should take now to reduce the threat of climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy, a report released today by the Royal Society of New Zealand finds... More>>

ALSO:

Paris Climate Deal Signed: Bennett 'Taking Advice' On Cancelling 'Dodgy' Credits

Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett is "taking advice" on whether to cancel some or all of the so-called 'dodgy' carbon credits bought mainly by power and petrol companies to cover New Zealand's future obligations to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that cause climate change. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Having An Extradition Treaty With China

Reportedly, an extradition treaty with China is now on the table, although – thankfully – Prime Minister John Key has also indicated that a lot of detailed work would be required before any such arrangement took final shape, much less came into force... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news