Efforts to relocate Kaikōura pāua continue

Two weeks after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the South Island, efforts to relocate the affected pāua in Kaikōura are continuing. 

MPI fisheries scientist Dr Julie Hills inspected pāua beds along the coast on Sunday and was pleased to see relocated pāua doing well.

“It will be a while before we know for sure if they have taken to their new environment. Pāua, as a species are hundreds of thousands of years old.

They are exceptional because they evolve to fit a changed environment. It doesn’t happen overnight, though. It can sometimes take many, many years. This area of Kaikoura’s coast will need careful treatment and management for some time to come.”    

A collective agreement to save parts of the Kaikōura ecology, including the relocation of thousands of stranded pāua was reached late last week at a hui at the local Takahanga Marae. 

Members of Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura, the Kaikōura commercial paua industry and volunteers from the Kaikōura Pāua rescue crew were given a “one-off” offer from the Ministry of Primary Industries.

MPI’s Deputy Director-General Ben Dalton proposed a limited zone be set up and determined by all groups as part of the government’s $2mil science programme for Kaikoura’s earthquake recovery.

Mike Vincent, founder of the paua rescue group, says a significant amount of paua have been relocated since the effort began. 

“It’s been a massive effort and I would like to thank Te Runanga o Kaikoura, MPI and the Kaikoura Paua Relocation and Relief effort for their combined support for the continued relocation of our precious Taonga.

“This has been a true collaboration between iwi, volunteers, industry and government and I’m so proud to have been part