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Collected here are important examples of marine science work in New Zealand. Marine science in New Zealand is entering a fascinating and challenging period. In addition to new discovery and exploration still going on in the marine environment, there is exciting in progress around the country mapping marine habitats and studies examining the results from marine reserves and other protected areas and the impacts of fishing and our fisheries management systems.

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This file has a .pdf extensionLong-Term Trends in Lobster Populations in a Partially Protected vs. No-Take Marine Park
Author(s): Nick Shears et al

This study presents long-term data (1977–2005) from before and after park establishment, on the abundance of spiny lobster Jasus edwardsii from fixed sites in a no-take marine park and a recreationally fished marine park, to assess the efficacy of no-take vs. partial protection. The authors submit that lobster densities were comparable between both marine parks prior to park establishment, but the response of lobster populations differed markedly following protection. They conclude that long-term data from fully fished and partially protected sites suggest long-term declines in lobster populations and reflect regional patterns in catch per unit effort estimates for the fishery. Also, the long-term patterns presented provide an unequivocal example of the recovery of lobster populations in no-take MPAs, but clearly demonstrate that allowing recreational fishing in MPAs has little benefit to populations of exploited species such as J. edwardsii.

Added to archive on 06/22/2007 and placed in the following categories: Marine Reserve Research and Monitoring NZ |

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This file has a .pdf extensionMarine Reserves Demonstrate Top-Down Control of Community Structure on Temperate Reefs
Author(s): Nick Shears and Russell Babcock

Replicated ecological studies in marine reserves and associated unprotected areas are valuable in examining top-down impacts on communities and the ecosystem- level effects of fishing. This paper reports on experimental studies undertaken by the authors in two temperate marine reserves to examine these top-down influences on shallow subtidal reef communities in northeastern New Zealand. The authors record that both reserves examined are known to support high densities of predators and tethering experiments showed that the chance of predation on the dominant sea urchin, Evechinus chloroticus, within both reserves was approximately 7 times higher relative to outside. They submit that the patterns observed provide evidence for a top-down role of predators in structuring shallow reef communities in northeastern New Zealand and demonstrate how marine reserves can reverse the indirect effects of fishing and re-establish communitylevel trophic cascades.

Added to archive on 06/22/2007 and placed in the following categories: Marine Reserve Research and Monitoring NZ |

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This file has a .pdf extensionIlluminated or blinded by science? A Discussion Paper
Author(s): Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment

This is a a discussion paper on the role of science in environmental policy and decision-making. The paper begins with a discussion of some of the
underlying assumptions about what policy-making, decision-making and science entails, particularly in relation to environmental management. It goes on to discuss the features of the interface between science and environmental policy and decision-making, exploring some of the issues that determine the need for, and contribution from, science in policy and decisionmaking. It then discusses features of the interface between non-scientific information and environmental policy and decision-making, exploring other sources of information that policy and decision makers need to consider in addition to scientific advice. It also considers capacity and communication issues, and the pressures that environmental policy and decision makers face in fulfilling their roles,
particularly with regard to dealing with uncertainty and knowledge gaps.

Added to archive on 06/22/2007 and placed in the following categories: Marine Reserve Research and Monitoring NZ |

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This file has a .pdf extensionMarine Ecological Research in NZ:Developing Predictive Models through the Study of No-Take MRs
Author(s): Tim Langlois

This report considered whether existing conceptual models of population and community structure based only on data from exploited systems lack the baseline information of natural states necessary to make accurate predictions for new reserves. The authors submit that research in New Zealand suggests that it is not yet possible to predict explicit outcomes for newly created reserves and less possible to predict detailed results for systems of reserves. They say that results from a representative system of reserves, including all major habitats within all bioregions and broadly comparable reserves, are needed. Such a system would enable the range and variety of natural ecosystem dynamics to be investigated and provide the controls necessary to measure the effects of exploitation.

Added to archive on 06/22/2007 and placed in the following categories: Marine Reserve Research and Monitoring NZ |

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This file has a .pdf extensionConnectivity of Invertebrate Populations on Coastal Reefs: Implications for MPA Design and Research
Author(s): Shane Lavery et al

This is a progress report. This project takes advantage of research currently being undertaken at the University of Auckland into the genetics of a suite of common intertidal and subtidal marine invertebrates and benthic fishes. The authors note that the species that were included into the study are all important components of the lower trophic levels of rocky reef ecosystems. The report notes that as they exhibit a variety of larval dispersal abilities they can therefore be used in comparison as model organisms to investigate the connectivity of rocky reefs at a variety of spatial scales and configurations. Outputs from this project are said to include a detailed review of current knowledge of the connectivity of invertebrate populations on New Zealand coastal rocky reefs, and the implications of these for MPA network design; preliminary analyses of broad and local scales of connectivity of coastal reef systems; and provide advice on further research relevant to the design and management of a representative MPA network.

Added to archive on 06/22/2007 and placed in the following categories: Marine Reserve Research and Monitoring NZ |

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This file has a .pdf extensionEffects of Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve on Demersal Fish Populations
Author(s): C M Denny, T J Willis and R C Babcock

This is a report on the investigation of the responses of demersal reef fish to the establishment of the Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve in northeastern New Zealand. The reserve and two reference locations (Cape Brett and the Mokohinau Islands) were sampled biannually over 3½ years using two survey methods. The report records that following the implementation of full marine reserve status at the Poor Knights Islands in 1998, both methods found that the abundance and mean of snapper dramatically increased. Porae increased in density, and blue maomao, pink maomao and orange wrasse increased in density. Seven species decreased significantly in density in the reserve but only three at both reference locations. The authors submit that the drop in density of some species may result from competitive or predatory interactions with snapper or other species.  They also noted several apparent seasonal trends. They note that there was evidence that the earlier partial fishing regulations were inefficient at protecting targeted species.

Added to archive on 06/22/2007 and placed in the following categories: Marine Reserve Research and Monitoring NZ |

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This file has a .pdf extensionDo Partial Marine Reserves Protect Reef Fish Assemblages?
Author(s): C M Denny

This report compares reef fish assemblages in Mimiwhangata Marine Park to adjacent fished areas. The report records that snapper, the most heavily targeted fish species in the region, showed no difference in abundance or size between the Marine Park and adjacent control areas. When compared to the fully no-take Poor Knights Island Marine Reserve and two other reference areas open to all kinds of fishing (Cape Brett and the Mokohinau Islands), the abundance and size of snapper at the Marine Park were most similar to fished reference areas. In fact, the Marine Park had the lowest mean numbers and
sizes of snapper of all areas, no-take or open to fishing. The authors submit that the lack of any recovery by snapper within the Marine Park, despite the exclusion of commercial fishers and restrictions on recreational fishing, indicates that partial closures are ineffective as conservation tools.

Added to archive on 06/22/2007 and placed in the following categories: Marine Reserve Research and Monitoring NZ |

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This file has a .pdf extensionResearch Sampling Design for Rock Lobsters in Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve
Author(s): John Booth

The author submits that to determine growth rates and patterns of movement of a wide size range of rock lobsters (Jasus edwardsii) within and near Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve, it is recommended that about 6000 lobsters be tagged in and within 2 km of the Reserve in the first year for subsequent recapture. In this way information should be obtainable on moulting and growth, effects of density on growth, and movement patterns within the Reserve and across its boundaries. The author maintains that the proposed sampling, conducted over time, should lead to the development of an index of the relative abundance by sex and size (age) group of lobsters that can be directly correlated with the index of settlement and a catch per unit effort (CPUE) index from the commercial fishery.

Added to archive on 06/22/2007 and placed in the following categories: Marine Reserve Research and Monitoring NZ |

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This file has a .pdf extensionThe New Zealand Marine Reserve Experience: the science behind the politics
Author(s): Russell Babcock

The author acknowledges that debate surrounding the effectiveness, or otherwise, of marine reserves has not been well informed by data. He goes on to say that in areas where marine reserves have been established for some time, valuable information is now becoming available. New Zealand’s no-take marine reserves have demonstrated large increases in abundance and size of exploited species such as snapper, spiny lobster and blue cod in marine reserves. The author submits that given that even the best fisheries management systems remain demonstrably less than perfect, it seems reasonable to try and guarantee some minimum level of stock abundance by putting in place marine reserves. On balance there is ample evidence to show that positive outcomes can be provided by reserves, and little or no support for suggestions that reserves will have negative effects for both conservation and fisheries.

Added to archive on 06/22/2007 and placed in the following categories: Marine Reserve Research and Monitoring NZ |

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This file has a .pdf extensionCatastrophic Events in New Zealand Coastal Environments
Author(s): JR Goff and C Chague-Goff

This report discusses catastrophic events in selected coastal wetlands of New Zealand. These date back over 6000 years, but become more well-defined in the past millennium. The comparison between the historic and palaeoenvironmental record indicates that a reliance on the former does not include several significant nationwide events. By highlighting the details and effects of several locally generated, nationwide catastrophic events, this report shows that the Department of Conservation needs to have a broader palaeoenvironmental context for its conservation management. This has implications for both the natural and historical coastal heritage managed by the Department. The report recommends that the Department invests science and research effort into understanding the effects that past catastrophic events have had upon the heritage that they manage. Putting a greater emphasis on the Department’s understanding of where the environment is now in relation to its past will help the Department understand not only how these events have affected the natural environment, but the way that prehistoric Maori interacted with it.

Added to archive on 06/21/2007 and placed in the following categories: Marine Biodiversity NZ | Marine Reserve Research and Monitoring NZ |

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