Coastal Restoration Trust of New Zealand

Coastal Dune Ecosystem Reference Database

Effects of oyster farms on estuarine avifauna at Houhora harbour, Northland DOC Publication

Pierce, R.J., Kerr, V
Journal / Source
Report by Wildland Consultants for Department of Conservation
Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas), seabirds
The Department of Conservation wishes to assess the potential effects of Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) farms on populations of estuarine birds. This need arose for two reasons: (i) an aquaculture management review undertaken by the Northland Regional Council, which led to an associated need for sound information on the effects of aquaculture on avifauna; and (ii) because of proposals for oyster farming zones in parts of several harbours that have significant wader populations. A preliminary review (Pierce 2004) examined existing knowledge of the effects of oyster farms on avifauna in New Zealand harbours, especially those of Aupouri Peninsula. Key recommendations from that review were to analyse and report on existing data on oyster farm and bird interactions collected in the 1990s in and around farms at Houhora and Parengarenga Harbours, and to collect comparable data in autumn 2004. This report is the culmination of a collaborative study by the Northland Polytechnic and Department of Conservation primarily at Houhora Harbour during the period 1994-99, together with supplementary data collected in 2004. It describes numbers and behaviour of coastal bird species in and around the oyster farm in that harbour and evaluates the implications of further oyster farming proposals for this and other harbours