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Managing and Conserving Marine Resources

Scientific research that supports sustainable use and conservation of marine species and ecosystems

Greater scientific understanding of marine ecosystems is critical to halt the loss of key values and ecosystem services provided by our oceans. We are developing scientific tools and understanding to support the conservation and long-term sustainable use of marine ecosystems and resources.

People       TopButton

Research Projects       TopButton

Fisheries restoration: Restoration of fisheries using seed from aquaculture and reseeding techniques that uses ecology, matauranga māori (traditional ecological knowledge) and genetic techniques to track populations and maximize success. Chris Hepburn, Derek Richards, Stephen Wing

Integrated multitrophic aquaculture: Development of technology and ecological solutions to integrate aquaculture production systems to increase efficiency and reduce environmental impacts. Chris Hepburn, Candida Savage.

Customary Fisheries: Providing ecological information to complement local knowledge to enable community-based management of coastal fisheries. We work closely with managers of customary fishery areas (mātaitai and taiāpure) that have been established to allow Māori communities to exercise kaitiakitanga (guardianship) over fisheries that have provided sustenance for their people for many generations. Chris Hepburn, Derek Richards, Stephen Wing

Conservation Biology of Hector’s dolphin: This long-term research programme (1984-present) has provided much of the information underpinning the current conservation measures for Hector’s dolphins. Current fieldwork focuses on ongoing studies of survival rate and reproduction. (Dawson, Slooten, Rayment and students)

Ecology and Conservation biology of Fiordland bottlenose dolphins: Current fieldwork focuses on understanding causes of recent declines and on quantifying effects of tourism (Dawson, Slooten Rayment and students)

Recovery and recolonisation by southern right whales: Southern right whales were driven to the brink of extinction in NZ by commercial whaling. We are monitoring their recovery by investigating population parameters in the Auckland Islands, the primary calving habitat in NZ, and using data on habitat preferences to predict potential overlap with anthropogenic impacts around the mainland.

Opportunities       TopButton

We conduct research on key issues facing the conservation and sustainable use of the marine environment and our programme can provide you with the opportunity to make a real difference for our oceans. You will learn what you need to know in order to design your own research – and then carry it out. We have the resources, scholarships, staff and opportunities you need to reach your goals.

Selected Recent Publications       TopButton

  • Bierschenk AM, C Savage, CR Townsend and CD Matthaei (2012) Intensity of land use in the catchment influences river ecosystem functioning along a freshwater-to-marine continuum. Ecosystems 15(4): 637-651, DOI 10.1007/s10021-012-9536-0
  • Currey, R.J.C., Dawson, S.M., Schneider, K., Lusseau, D., Boisseau, O.J., Haase, P. Slooten, E. 2011. Inferring trends and causal factors for a declining population of bottlenose dolphins via temporal symmetry capture-recapture modelling. Marine Mammal Science 27(3): 554-566.
  • Elliott, R.G. Dawson, S.M. and Henderson, S.D. 2011. Acoustic monitoring of habitat use by bottlenose dolphins in Doubtful Sound, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal Marine and Freshwater Research 45(4): 637-639.
  • Gormley, A.M., Slooten, E., Dawson S.M., Barker, R.J., Rayment, W.J., DuFresne, S.D., and Bräger, S. 2012. First evidence that MPAs can work for marine mammals. Journal of Applied Ecology. 49(2): 474-480.
  • Lill AWT, GP Closs, M Schallenberg and C Savage (2012) Impact of berm breaching on hyperbenthic macroinvertebrate communities in intermittently closed estuaries. Estuaries and Coasts 35(1): 155-168
  • Lill AWT, GP Closs, C Savage and M Schallenberg (2011) Annual secondary production of two estuarine mysid species (Mysidacea: Mysidae) inhabiting an intermittently closed estuary, south-eastern New Zealand. Marine and Freshwater Research 62: 823-834
  • Rayment, W.J., Dawson, S.M. and Slooten, E. 2010. Seasonal changes in distribution of Hector’s dolphin at Banks Peninsula, New Zealand: implications for protected area design. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 20: 106-116.
  • Slooten, E. and Dawson, S.M. 2010 Assessing the effectiveness of conservation management decisions: Likely effects of new protection measures for Hector’s dolphin. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 20: 334-347.
  • Wing, S.R. & L. Jack A safety network for ecological collapse: mature subpopulations in refuges distributed across the landscape. In review
  • Jack, L., S.R. Wing and R.J. McLeod (2009) Prey base shifts in the red rock lobster Jasus edwardsii in response to habitat conversion in Fiordland marine reserves: implications for effective spatial management. Marine Ecology Progress Series 381: 213-222.
  • Jack, L. and S.R. Wing (2010) Habitat quality drives size structure and fecundity of the red rock lobster (Jasus edwardsii) among marine protected areas in Fiordland. Marine Ecology Progress Series 404: 161-172.
  • Hepburn, C.D., Flack, B., Richards, D.K., Wing, S.R. (2010) Providing local ecological information for the management of pāua fisheries within taiāpure and mātaitai. Proceedings of Ngā Kete a Rēhua, Christchurch, 4th & 5th September 2008. Pages 220-225.
  • Hepburn, C.D., Jackson A. M., Vanderburg, P.H., Kainamu A., Flack, B. (2010) Ki Uta ki Tai: From the mountains to the sea. Holistic approaches to customary fisheries management. Proceedings of the 4th International Indigenous Conference on Traditional Knowledge: Kei muri i te kāpara he tangata, Recognizing, engaging understanding difference. Pages 140-148
  • Jackson A. M., Hepburn, C.D., East Otago Taiāpure Management Committee (2010) Rangatiratanga and Customary Fisheries Management. Proceedings of the 4th International Indigenous Conference on Traditional Knowledge: Kei muri i te kāpara he tangata, Recognizing, engaging understanding difference. Pages 165-170