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Native Fish Spawning: Area Identification and Community Restoration

Native Fish Spawning: Area Identification and Community Restoration

Native Fish Spawning: Area Identification and Community Restoration

Gisborne District Council

Native whitebait in Gisborne rivers are being given a helping hand through a special Gisborne District Council project.

Little is known about native Inanga and whitebait in the Waipaoa catchment, including where they spawn, what conditions they prefer and their lifecycle.

Intensification of farming in the Poverty Bay flats has affected some spawning sites and a decline in the fish population has highlighted the need to identify, protect and restore local habitat.

This project by the Gisborne District Council is piloting the restoration of the fish spawning habitat in the lower Waipaoa and Te Arai rivers.

The project has identified several spawning areas and the aim is to protect them, as well as significantly increasing community understanding of how land use affects biodiversity and what can be done to help.

Groups such as local iwi, the Tairawhiti Environment Centre and the Department of Conservation have been involved, together with local volunteers and well-known Inanga researcher Hans Rook.

Knowledge is now being shared with the local community through practical workshops. Landowners are also being educated about site restoration and preservation, including keeping stock out of waterways and building fences around spawning areas.

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