NIWA research vessel surveying fish in Tasman and Golden Bays
Boaties in Tasman and Golden Bays are likely to notice a larger than usual vessel working close to shore over the next few days.
It’s NIWA’s research vessel Kaharoa, which is undertaking a fisheries survey for the Ministry for Primary Industries to monitor several key inshore species including red cod, red gurnard, stargazer, snapper, tarakihi and john dory.
The survey is conducted every two years and the information used to assess the number of fish present as well as help inform management of the fisheries.
This is the 13th time the survey has been conducted and the data provide a valuable picture of how these important fisheries are faring.
However, this year the survey area has been extended and will cover an area further inshore to help scientists assess the status of snapper.
NIWA fisheries scientist and voyage leader Dan MacGibbon says the shallower waters, between 10 and 20m deep, are home to juvenile snapper and these new inshore stations should establish a baseline for future surveys.
“We are hoping this extended sampling will provide important information that will make a valuable contribution to inshore fisheries management,” Mr MacGibbon says.
Kaharoa will be visible from shore with the closest planned survey point likely to be 2.2 nautical miles from land.
Otoliths—or ear bones—will also be collected from each species included in the survey to determine the age of fish.
The survey begins tomorrow with Kaharoa spending about six days in Tasman and Golden Bays, depending on the weather, before heading south down the West Coast.