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Our Oceans - Our Future, June 5th, 3pm To 5pm, Whitianga

Organisers of a community event designed to discuss the health of marine life around the Coromandel Peninsula are calling for interested parties to attend and take part in a discussion on how to manage human impact on marine eco-systems.

In June, scientists, conservationists, iwi leaders, local officials, recreational and commercial fishers, among others, will come together in Whitianga to learn about the state of our coastal marine ecosystems and the need for greater protection.

The event has been inspired by the Ngati Hei rāhui over scallop beds around the iwi’s rohe, which is seen by organisers as a great example of community led response to an environmental crisis.

Speakers at the event will include Ngati Hei kaumatua Joe Davis, marine scientist Dr Tim Haggitt and Hauraki Gulf Forum CEO Alex Rogers, who will share facts and observations on the state of the Hauraki Gulf and Coromandel coastline. Sir Michael Fay will also attend in support of his conservation aspirations for Ahuahu/Great Mercury Island.

The speakers will be followed by a panel discussion with the public and local stakeholders to hear concerns and encourage ideas on marine protection concepts for the area. Organisers hope this will lead to an ongoing community initiative for sensible and effective marine protection measures into the future.

Event organiser and scientist Thomas Everth says the ocean is fundamental to our lifestyle on the Coromandel.

“Whether you reside on the Coromandel year-round, visit on weekends, own a business that depends on a pristine ocean environment, or maybe just catch the odd kingy off the wharf - we want to hear from you.

“The scallop rāhui shows what can be accomplished if we work together. Now we need to widen our view, and consider what else we can do to protect this precious coastal ocean.”

The event will take place 3pm to 5pm on Saturday June 5th 2021 at the C3 Church Hall, Whitianga. Entry is free, koha is welcome to help cover costs.

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