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

Poverty Bay

Location: Poverty Bay, New Zealand

Type of Project: Ecology, Aquaculture

Client: Port Gisborne Ltd, New Zealand

ASR Projects- Poverty Bay

Location map of Poverty Bay showing the overall Poverty Bay region, the Muriwai area is located in the southern part of the bay.

Project Overview:

As part of their expansion plans, Port Gisborne Ltd commissioned ASR Ltd to investigate the aquaculture potential in the Muriwai area of Poverty Bay.

Project Outcomes:

Based on the study conducted by ASR Ltd, which included site visits, water quality testing, biological assessments and a comprehensive literature review of existing aquaculture practices in the region.

The results of the study showed that the southern portion of Poverty Bay is unsuitable for aquaculture development. This logic was based on the fact that the waters in this area are characterised by a very high sediment load and the presence of bacteria.

Specific findings were that the fine silts from Young Nick’s Head and the close proximity to the Waipaoa River cause elevated levels of suspended sediments in the area and occasional large volumes of freshwater which create unstable conditions for marine organisms. The ecological field investigations confirmed this since a low species diversity, low water clarity and high silt loads were observed. The water quality was further compromised by the presence of coliform bacteria. The faecal coliform and enterococcus levels of the water were unacceptable for aquaculture, as this could contaminate marine organisms and be a health risk for human consumption. ASR Ltd therefore recommended that this area not be considered for further aquaculture development.

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