Marine communities associated with the frigate Canterbury, 2012

The communities of animals and plants associated with the scuttled HMNZS Canterbury were examined by scuba divers and with still and video photography between 15 April and 26 May 2012. The work was carried out by Fish Forever, a community initiative to establish better marine protection in the Bay of Islands so we can continue to enjoy and share the wealth it offers. These results need to be considered in the light of the 2-year Rahui (ban on all fishing, except for the harvesting of kina) that was placed on Maunganui Bay in November 2009.

2 feb  2012 Gem Nudi Putahataha is 12m. 03.05.12 Moray Puts 10m

The percentage cover by sessile (immobile) organisms of both the vertical and horizontal surfaces of the Canterbury increased significantly between July 2011 and April 2012, reaching the full coverage possible. Although ‘species richness’ changed little, there were large changes in community structure. Most noticeable between 2011 and 2012 were the large increases in sponge and tubeworm cover on all surfaces, with concomitant decrease in filamentous algae and lithothamnion paint.

Dive the Canterbury Wreck Fish on the Canterbury Wreck

In diver fish-count (DFC) surveys of natural reefs in Maunganui Bay, mean numbers of fish and mean species richness were much the same in 2012 as they were in 2011. The densities of leatherjackets, two-spot demoiselle and snapper may have been greater in 2012. Snapper biomass was greater in Maunganui Bay than around the Canterbury in both years.

Leatherjacket on the Canterbury Wreck 24m March 2012 Snapper on the Canterbury Wreck all the time 8m to 30m

Introduction of the baited underwater video (BUV) allowed comparisons of relative fish abundance between the Canterbury, elsewhere in Maunganui Bay, and along the broader Cape Brett Peninsula—but only for species attracted to bait. The densities of snapper were similar throughout, whereas no leatherjackets were seen around the Canterbury.

Moray eel on the Canterbury Wreck 26.03.12 051

Continuing the current Rahui is highly recommended—if for no other reason than that a natural state may be attained around the Canterbury and throughout the broader Maunganui Bay in the absence of (theoretically, any) interference from fishing.

Te Rawhiti Enterprises are very grateful for the work that Fish Forever did to collect these samples and analyse the marine communities at the Canterbury Wreck.

Please read the complete 2012 Canterbury Wreck report prepared by Fish Forever for Ngati Kuta and Patukeha in December 2012 below

Marine communities associated with the frigate Canterbury
and on nearby shores, eastern Bay of Islands, 2012
by lellobot

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