Today the Hauraki Gulf Forum has confirmed its policy to remove all industrial bottom trawling and scallop dredging harvest techniques from the entire Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.
This has come after a series of presentations around consequences and community actions of banning recreational dredging by LegaSea, Ngāti Hei, Ngāti Pāoa and Revive Our Gulf. Years of bottom contact fishing techniques have contributed to the decline of shellfish populations and the destruction of these ecosystems.
Revive Our Gulf spokesperson Peter Miles, worries that any work and investment in shellfish restoration could be undone if dredging was to continue. “We see an opportunity to bring back extensive biogenic mussel habitats that were once a dominant feature in the Gulf. Dredging has destroyed these precious habitats. Let’s avoid past mistakes as we help restore shellfish populations.”.