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Pohatu Marine Reserve

Pohatu Marine Reserve is centred on Flea Bay, on the south-east side of Banks Peninsula. The area is home to a massive array of wildlife, fish, mammals and birds.

At Pohatu you can find:

-Mussels/kutai, limpets/ngakihi, chiton, sea tulips/kaeo, whelks, crabs/papaka, catseyes, barnacles/koromaungaunga, periwinkles/ngaeti, tubeworms, brown, red and green seaweed are found on the sandy beach and on the rocky shore platforms.
-Hoiho (the endangered yellow eyed penguin) and korora breed in the reserve. Other birds found along the shore include the shag/kawau and the gull/tara.
-Hector's dolphins are frequent summer visitors and fur seals haul out on the shore platforms.
-There are many birds dependent on the sea around here for food, including titi (fairy prions), and tara (terns).

In the water, you will see a variety of fish such as triplefins, lumpfish, moki, butterfish/marari, spotties, banded wrasse, blue cod/rawaru, leather jackets/kokiri, lobsters, paua and rockfish/taumaka.

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Maori history

Pohatu pa or Flea Bay was the traditional home to Tutakakahïkura and his people in pre-European times. Pohatu’s rich flora and fauna such as fish, seabirds, shellfish and freshwater fish was a source of mahika kai (food gathering).

Te Runaka o Koukourarata is the modern day face of Kai Tahu descendants based at Koukourarata (Port Levy). Eager to retain an area as a haven for struggling mahika kai species, they support Pohatu as a marine reserve to enhance the whata kai (food store) reserves on Banks Peninsula (Horomaka).

In providing for the natural regeneration of the marine environment, Pohatu will act as a kohanga (nest). This has the effect of replenishing fish stocks within the Banks Peninsula area.

Tangata whenua regard Pohatu Marine Reserve as a key element of the integrated sustainable management of fisheries resources in the wider Akaroa harbour area.

Find out more on the DoC website, or visit the following link(s):

This reserves Order in Council.

Pohatu Marine Reserve Baseline Survey.

Forest and Bird Article on the Pohatu and Parininihi Marine Reserves establishment. 

Media Release - "Pohatu Marine Reserve makes final hurdle." 

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