December 04, 2012
Kaitiaki confirm kaimoana loss
Don't listen to the politicians, listen to the kaitiaki.
That's the message coming from a new study of how the abundance and diversity of seafood around the coast has declined over the past half century.
The study published in the latest issue of MAI, a New Zealand Journal of Indigenous Scholarship, draws on interviews with 22 kaitiaki from 14 tribes throughout the North Island.
Co-author Jonathan Dick says while Western conservationists have tended to emphasise ecological impacts, kaitiaki are concerned with both ecological and cultural consequences of the losses.
He says while feeding the family may once have involved wading in the water for 10 minutes; it now could take several hours.
The reduced availability of seafood species is undermining the ability of the hapū – to offer hospitality at marae, and younger generations have less familiarity with some species.
Mr Dick says the kaitiaki’s cultural associations and long-term ecological baselines counter fisheries managers, scientists and politicians who claim that current Western fisheries management is safeguarding the abundance and diversity of New Zealand’s fish stocks.
Copyright © 2013, Uma Broadcasting Ltd