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Operation Pātiki Finishes Flounder Survey


Media Release

14 November 2012

Operation Pātiki Finishes Flounder Survey

The final survey in the year long Operation Pātiki survey of the Clive River (Ngaruroro Tawhito) was carried out last week.

The survey was the idea of Tom McGuire from Kohupātiki Marae who wanted to better understand the existing population of pātiki or black flounder in the river.

Throughout the year surveys have been done, bringing together the Matauranga Māori traditional knowledge of fishing by the moon with the Western science methodology of observation and data collection.

Tom McGuire says “We are very pleased with the science and outcome of the surveys, and will write up our data shortly. Then next year, we will do a comparison on the Tukituki or the Tutaekuri rivers which may have better habitats for pātiki.”

“We have had great support from the Regional Council, Fish and Game HB, DOC, Ngā Whenua Rāhui, and many people in the community. We’ve also had scientists from Massey University involved who were impressed by the Māori science approach to catching live flounder for the survey and then releasing them.”

Last Thursday evening (8 November) nets were set in the Clive River (which local marae still refer to as the Ngaruroro as it is the former or tawhito bed of that river). The nets were lifted early the following morning and data collected on the pātiki captured.

HBRC Scientists Adam Uytendaal and Oliver Wade took part with the Operation Pātiki team of Tom McGuire, Ani McGuire and Tawhana Chadwick.

Three primary students from Flaxmere Primary School were also part of the monitoring team last week - Jack and Jesse Thomson and Ibanez Hau. They helped to lift the nets and record the data of the fish caught, tagged and released.

“Jack, Jesse and Ibanez learned a lot about pātiki and the river history, traditions and its ecosystems. Hastings Intermediate wants to get some of their students involved in the survey next year,” says Tom McGuire.

The fish were photographed and the children recorded data about the weight, length and width of the fish.

Throughout the 12 month monitoring period no tagged fish were caught for a second time.

The whanau of Kohupātiki marae will be reporting their findings on Operation Pātiki in a public presentation and a written document at a later date.

The project has the support of Ngā Kaitiaki o te Awa a Ngaruroro, Hawke’s Bay DHB, HBRC, Ministry of Primary Industries, Fish & Game Hawke’s Bay, DOC, Ngā Whenua Rāhui, Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated, Guardians of Hawke Bay Fisheries and others.

ENDS