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HBRC welcomes collaboration on coastal management

Over the past year, some of Hawke’s Bay’s key agencies have collaborated to improve understanding of the region’s coastal resources. 

The Ministry for Primary Industries, the Department of Conservation, Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated, and commercial and recreational fishery (LegaSea HB) interests have been working together on the best ways to support future management of the region’s coastal resources. 

The group formed in 2015, responding to growing concerns about the state of fish in Hawke’s Bay. Work started with a stocktake of the region’s marine resources, to better understand the pressures and influences having the most impact.

Working together was a logical step, given the complementary roles of each agency in managing the coastal environment. HBRC manages coastal areas, including when contaminants or pollution are discharged from land to sea. MPI manages commercial, recreational and customary use of fish and shellfish, and DoC is responsible for marine mammals and threatened species, and the Coastal Policy Statement.

HBRC today received a report from Dr Tim Haggitt of ECoast, who successfully bid to carry out a desktop review and a face-to-face interview process to map current knowledge of the region’s coastal resources, identify areas of significant gaps, and recommend a process to fill the gaps over time.

Coastal Scientist for HBRC Oliver Wade is rapt with the quality of the report and the clear identification of what the region needs to do to fill the gaps. 

“This report will give HBRC and other stakeholders a solid base to build to the sustainable management of Hawke’s Bay’s marine resources. Identifying areas of ecological importance in the region, and the state of our knowledge about these areas, will give clear direction for a collaborative effort to better manage these resources, said Mr Wade.”

Group Manager, Resource Management Iain Maxwell is pleased that given recent interest in the region’s fisheries, the timeliness of the report, and that HBRC had been facilitating the collaborative group to produce it, meant that discussions and decisions could occur in a robust way to improve the state of the regions fisheries. 

“Recent commentary around the state of our coastal fisheries has been made with too few facts on the table. This research project aims to remedy this and gets all stakeholders on the same page with a common set of understandings,” said Mr Maxwell.

The report and the potential ways forward for this issue will be discussed at HBRC on 29 June, when Dr Haggitt will present his work.  Copies of the report will then be available to the public.

25 August 2016

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