ASR - A Global Partner for the Sustainable Management of Coastal and Marine Resources

Cape Rodney

Location: Cape Rodney/Okakari Point, New Zealand

Type of Project: Ecological Survey

Client: Department of Conservation (DOC), New Zealand

ASR Projects- Cape Rodney

From left to right: The mean size of Jasus edwardsii (± 95 % Confidence Interval) within the Cape Rodney to Okakari Point Marine Reserve and non-reserve control sites between 1995 and 2006; picture of the spiny lobster Jasus edwardsii.

Project Overview:

The objectives of this project done by ASR Ltd were to determine the current population status of J.Edwardsii (spiny lobster) within the Cape Rodney to Okakari Point (CROP) Marine Reserve. The study then compared lobster size and abundance within the CROP Marine Reserve with unprotected control sites and compared trends in lobster population through time.

Project Outcomes:

n 2006 the population of spiny lobster (Jasus edwardsii) within the Cape Rodney to Okakari Point (CROP) Marine Reserve was 10 times greater than in non-reserve (unprotected) control populations. The numbers of legal-sized lobsters was 11 times greater than non-reserve populations and mean lobster size was 50 mm greater than non-reserve populations. While the current abundance of 16.1 lobsters per 500 m2 was the highest recorded since the sampling program was initiated in 2000, lobster abundance has still not recovered to 1995 levels following the broad-scale decline between 1995 and 2000. Levels remain ~ 2.5 times lower than observed in 1995.

Using the relative difference in lobster abundance between reserve and non-reserve areas and assuming that lobster populations of the 6 unprotected sites surveyed are representative of the general Leigh coastline and that the habitat within the reserve is representative of the wider area, the 5 km long Cape Rodney to Okakari Point Marine Reserve in 2006 contained the equivalent number of lobsters from 60 km of fished Leigh coastline.

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