Thursday, May 23, 2024

Community hui called for kina barrens

People with an interest in the health of Northland’s marine ecosystems are being invited to a public meeting to discuss how to deal with kina barrens.

Oceans and Fisheries Minister, Shane Jones, will lead the discussion, which will take place on Friday 10 May, at Awanui Hotel in Northland from 9am-11am.

“The people of Northland have had a special relationship with the sea dating back centuries and have seen many changes in that time,” Mr Jones says.

“Locals, including tangata whenua, commercial and recreational fishers, scientists, and the wider community play a crucial part in looking after Northland’s natural resources and dealing with kina barrens.”

Kina barrens are areas of rocky reef where healthy kelp forests have been consumed by an excess population of kina and long-spined sea urchins, to form a barren space that is uninviting to other sea life. 

“I’ve made kina barrens a priority, due to the concerns raised from local communities and the threat that they pose to the marine environment,” the Minister said.

“The involvement of the local community, both their ideas and actually getting out there to remove excess kina, will be essential to deal with kina barrens in a sustainable way that results in a long-term improvement in the health of Northland’s kaimoana and biodiversity. 

“It’s also a great opportunity for a new generation of people to take part in community projects to look after their local environment. I look forward to working with Northlanders to address kina barrens.”

Recent developments in the work to deal with kina barrens include:

  • Hui on 23 and 24 January 2024 with iwi, hapu, and tangata kaitiaki representatives to discuss initiatives and management tools to reduce the spread and extent of kina barrens;
  • A two-year fisheries closure and fishing method prohibition at Tutukaka Harbour, Ngunguru Bay, Ngunguru River, Horahora River, and surrounding areas to help increase the abundance of rock lobster, a predator of kina;
  • A consultation on introducing a new special permit to allow removal or culling of kina from kina barrens;
  • A consultation on increasing the recreational bag limit for kina on the east coast of Northland;
  • A scientific programme to deepen our understanding of kina barrens and their impacts and inform evidence-based decision-making. This includes mapping to better understand the specific nature and extent of kina barren areas.

Time for consultation on increasing the recreational bag limit for kina and the introduction of a new special permit for kina removal or culling has been extended until 5pm on 20 May 2024. More information, including how to make a submission can be found at:

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