NEW ZEALAND - Environment Minister Amy Adams has announced government funding of NZ$65,000 towards a Gisborne District Council project to identify spawning sites for native fish species in the region.
The money was awarded to the council from the Government’s Community Environment Fund.
“There are a number of different native freshwater fish species in the Gisborne region and the survival of some of these is threatened,” Ms Adams said.
“Knowledge of where native fish are spawning, or would prefer to spawn, is limited. We do know that a number of the spawning sites are under threat from stock grazing and drain clearing activities.
“This survey will help iwi and local communities in the Gisborne region learn to identify what makes a good place for fish to spawn. If people know where the sites are, they can take steps to ensure they are not damaged or work can be done to restore them.
“Healthy ecosystems and habitats for native freshwater fish are important aspects of maintaining or improving the quality of New Zealand’s water ways.
“Fish are both an indicator of the health of a water way and a vital part of the ecology of a water way.”
A database of fish spawning areas will be developed to ensure the information gathered during the survey is collected and can be maintained. This will provide a process and protocol that other councils can use when they wish to undertake similar surveys.
The NZ$65,000 in funding is from a targeted round of the Government’s Community Environment Fund.
The funding round was aimed at activities that support key elements of the Government’s freshwater programme, including implementation of the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management and regional planning and community participation in freshwater management.
TheFishSite News Desk