September 22, 2022
Kina stripping kelp forests
Lowering kina populations in coastal areas could be the key to restoring kelp and seaweed forests.
Working with Te Tau Ihu Fisheries Forum, University of Auckland researchers have removed kina from four coastal sites in Malborough Sounds.
Nick Shears, an associate professor of marine science based at Goat Island marine reserve, says the kina population in the area exploded because of lower numbers of its natural predators like blue cod and crayfish.
That lead to overfeeding on marine plants.
He says better management of coastal eco-systems will give all species a better change of survival.
“Making sure they are as health as possible is important to ensure they have the best chance of surviving through future impacts we are likely to see with climate change,” Dr Shears says.
Dr Shears says overpopulation of kina also leads to smaller and skinnier roe.