August 25, 2022
Māori knowledge helping with Moana heat study
Researchers looking at marine temperatures around the New Zealand coast are trying to get a matauranga Māori perspective on their findings.
Moana Project director João de Souza says marine heatwaves can have dire consequences for aquaculture and fishing.
The five-year project funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment uses data from MetService as well as its own probes to generate weekly sea temperature forecasts.
It’s also working with Maui Hudson from the University of Waikato and his Whakatohea iwi, which has a major mussel farming operation in the eastern Bay of Plenty, to build bridges with Maori.
“They trying to build a two-way bridge so we can both get matauranga Maori into the kind of science we are doing and also get the results of the science and communicate back to the community so we have something that’s really useful for the community that needs to use this information,” Dr de Souza says.
One of the research streams involves tracking the circulation of mussel spat in the Bay of Plenty and comparing that with traditional knowledge of the kuku lifecycle.