Waipouri Cove is situated on the northern side of Middle Gable. It is a small bay open to the east and susceptible to swells from the north to southeast. A stream runs into the head of the cove from the adjacent catchment. This stream was severely affected by earthworks during the development of a winery on the northern side of the cove, which caused substantial sedimentation throughout the survey site. This sediment is still present in some quantity.
Survey site description:
Distance; 500m total.
Depth: max 12m within survey site (20m further out in bay).
There are extensive reef areas – fringing and separate – within the survey site. Soft bottom composition ranges from course sand and shell to small pebbles and boulders.
Surveys – latest First
Date: 09-05-2020 Time of Survey: 09:30
Tide: HT 08355hrs, 2.9m Moon Phase: Waning, 2 days after full moon (07/05).
Conditions: Water Temp: 19c Visibility: 5 – 8m Sea State: Slight East swell, calm
Wind Direction/Strength: South 10knots Cloud Cover: Fine.
Survey Team: Hamish, Ali, Rob, Marion, Christian, Glenn
Notes: This is our first survey at Waipouri where we have replaced the “Overall Health” assessment line with an assessment of the Mauri. (Mauri – an internal energy or life force derived from whakapapa, an essential essence or element sustaining all forms of life. Mauri provides life and energy to all living things, and is the binding force that links the physical to the spiritual worlds (e.g. wairua). It denotes a health and spirit, which permeates through all living and non-living things. All plants, animals, water and soil possess mauri. Damage or contamination to the environment is therefore damage to or loss of mauri. (Harmsworth, Awatere, 2013). This survey comes after six weeks of no fishing, diving or boating, due to the Covid 19 Lockdown rules. The day before the survey several divers were observed diving and free diving for crayfish within the survey site. We found crayfish remains as well as a snapper carcass. The team’s impressions of Waipouri today were: convalescing but still hurting, empty but with a sense of possibility.
Results from this survey were slightly disappointing. After six weeks of no fishing we were hoping to see some change in snapper and crayfish, but with clear evidence of fishing activity from the day before the survey it appears that any improvement was short lived and quickly nullified. The mauri of Waipouri continues to be affected by the level of sedimentation, although there was less sediment than the previous survey in February. Abundance and diversity are still low, although it was encouraging to see some small schools of juvenile trivially and cohere as well as a school of piper in the shallows. Ecklonia still remains relatively sparse and patchy, although what is there is looking good for this time of year. Kina barrens still dominate a high percentage of reef area with kina density varying quite a lot, indicating that some of the barrens are mature and population density has dropped due to less food. As can be seen from the comparison chart above and taking into account seasonal variation Waipouri continues to show little change in overall well-being.