Ecological Assessments and Monitoring for the Ponui Island Marine Farm
- Client Name
- Ponui Aquaculture Ltd, co-owned by Auckland iwi Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki
- Hauraki Gulf, Auckland, New Zealand
- Climate resilience planning & design
- Marine science
Aquaculture is an important, growing industry in New Zealand as a sustainable source of food production. Ponui Aquaculture is establishing a 221 hectare marine farm, to grow and harvest New Zealand green-lipped mussels. The farm will be located east of Ponui Island in the Hauraki Gulf. To achieve resource consent, Ponui Aquaculture required various ecological assessments to ensure that the farm was located and managed appropriately to avoid adverse effects on marine ecosystems.
4Sight (now SLR) provided technical advice and conducted assessments in a range of specialist areas on the potential ecological effects of the marine farm, including water quality, sedimentation, benthic ecology, seabirds, coastal processes, and cumulative effects.
A particular requirement was to develop and propose a monitoring approach that could track the potential ecological effects of the farm, at an appropriate level in relation to the expected low level of effect of the mussel farm.
Our Principal Coastal and Water Quality Scientist provided evidence at the Council hearing, as part of the consenting process and his expertise in this area was acknowledged. The project was granted consent along with meaningful and easily implementable monitoring conditions.
We are continuing to support the client and will undertake ecological monitoring and reporting of the marine farm when the conditions agreed in the consent are met.
The New Zealand green-lipped mussels produced on this Marine Farm will provide another source of sustainably grown food for our growing population, helping to contribute towards achieving the New Zealand Government’s target to grow kaimoana exports to $3 billion by 2035.