Hear our voice – recreational fisherman Ken Warin
Ken Warin is a keen recreational fisherman and one of 50 passionate people who joined Forest & Bird’s campaign action group to save the Hauraki Gulf. He wants to see strong stewardship for the marine environment of the gulf. Here he talks about what the gulf means to him, and why he joined the campaign.
What changes have you seen in the Hauraki Gulf?
I have seen a steady decline in all fish life in this wonderful area, which saddens me greatly.
Crayfish numbers are now non-existent compared to years gone by. These days, schools of kahawai and kingfish with feeding seabirds are rarely seen, when they were once plentiful. I used to be able to count up to 600 seabirds feeding on baitfish in previous years off Martins Bay but this Christmas period – none! I worry too about the kina barrens in this area where huge kelp forests once existed providing a safe habitat for many moki, butterfish, snapper and crayfish.
What does the Hauraki Gulf mean to you?
I’ve spent 65 years enjoying the Gulf, and wish my grandchildren to be able to do the same. I learnt to dive with Auckland Underwater Club in 1968, and always read with interest Dr Roger Grace’s articles in the “Dive NZ” magazine. He was then exploring the outer Gulf islands and discovering amazing and diverse fish life unknown to all of us. I joined Neptune’s Dive Club and traveled to these islands to marvel at this incredible underwater world.
“My boys and I release all snapper over 10lb and those under 400mm. I use light gear and take my time – this one took about 20 minutes to bring in. We only keep enough to eat on the day and just enjoy the fun of being on the water!”
Why did you join the campaign?
The food chain is under attack on all sides from over-fishing, pollution, sewage outfalls, farming run off, and increased population – we must act now to protect the Gulf. Formation of the MPA network is the next vital step.
What is your role?
My role is to help coordinate dive, fishing and boating clubs to get behind Forest & Bird’s campaign – together, we must restore the wonder of the Gulf for all people to enjoy.
Add your voice to the campaign and tell the NZ Government to put the Sea Change plan into action to rebuild the health of the Hauraki Gulf at: www.forestandbird.org.nz/seachange
A version of this article first appeared in Forest & Bird magazine, see www.issuu.com/forestandbird or join Forest & Bird to receive the latest issue.