Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 17 July 2009 Contents LOCAL NEWS
Page 4 | 17 July, 2009
By Bruce Fraser
The Ministry of Fisheries plans more research on
whether Milford and Doubtful Sounds’ blue cod
populations are recovering.
The fisheries were closed to amateur fishermen in
2005 following recommendations to the Ministry of
Fisheries from the Fiordland Marine Guardians who
were concerned about the fragility of the fish stocks
and wanted to give them time to rebuild.
That closure was extended indefinitely earlier this
year. Tania Cameron, a fisheries analyst with Ministry
of Fisheries, told the July 10 Guardians’ meeting
the ministry’s population survey data, collected by line
fishing, was too unclear to give any useful indication of the
The ministry now planned to study the population using cod
pots instead of line fishing and would also trial an underwater
video survey of the cod population. Video work had the
advantage of being non-destructive, she said.
Studies of blue cod otoliths (stony structures from the fishes’
inner ears) could show where the young fish came from into the
sounds, Ms Cameron said.
Guardian and marine scientist Ken Grange said the chemical
composition of otoliths’ layers, which were deposited
progressively through the fishes’ lifetime, could disclose where
an adult fish had spent its juvenile years.
Photo: Ministry of Fisheries
More research is planned to get a better idea of blue cod stocks in
Doubtful and Milford sounds.
More work needed to check on
blue cod population recovery
A new weather station has been set up at at Copper
Point in Milford Sound broadcasting wind speed
and direction messages every five minutes over
international marine radio channel 21.
Paid for by both Environment Southland and the Milford
Sound Development Authority, the weather station
enables all boat operators with a VHF radio to access
the information. In addition, an LCD screen has been
set up inside the Milford visitor terminal beside the
double doors that exit onto the wharves, displaying a
24-hour history and current wind speed and direction.
However, MDA operations manager Andrew Welsh
reminded skippers that the remote location of the
transmitter and the associated difficulties in getting
the signal around Mitre Peak meant the system was
working “right on the boundary with regards to the
reliability of the signal”.
“There may be times in which we lose the signal due to
weather conditions but at this stage we hope that will
not occur,” he said.
New weather station begins transmission
The screen at the Milford Sound visitor terminal giving up-to-date weather
information broadcast from a new weather station at Copper Point.
Maori carved figures or pou pou
watching out to sea may become the
symbols and markers of Fiordland’s
Fiordland Marine Guardian and Oraka-
Aparima Runanga chairman Stewart Bull
presented the idea at the Guardians’
July 10 meeting in Te Anau.
Fiordland has 10 marine reserves, eight
of which were set up by the Guardians
in 2005, but none has any physical
Guardians chairman Malcolm Lawson
said the group had long struggled with
the problem of how to mark the reserves
without placing a large, incongruous
coloured sign in a remote and pristine
The carved figures watching out to sea
could strike the right note, Mr Bull said.
He suggested upright poles with the
pou pou figure at the top to symbolise
a guardian looking out and looking over
Concrete or fibreglass construction
could be more practical and durable
than carved wooden figures as well
as reducing the cost, he said. The
Guardians agreed to investigate the
Pou pou may
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