Episode 27: A Sound Investment
On the next episode, screening 3 October 2015 at 7pm on TV ONE:
A Sound Investment
The Bradleys are a Marlborough Sounds fishing family with an unusual aim – in future they want to return more fish to the water than they catch.
‘We need to do something to improve the fish stocks before it’s too late,’ Joel Bradley says. ‘It’s heartbreaking to see the stocks go backwards.’
Joel and his father, Michael, are working with scientists from Plant and Food in Nelson on a new flounder enhancement programme.
‘The scientists share our passion,’ Michael says. ‘They’d love to see the Sounds full of fish again – along with us.’
The aim of the three-year project is to catch wild flounder and strip them of their eggs, which will be hatched in tanks and returned to the wild when they grow to thumb-nail size.
It’s a true partnership – the Bradleys have the practical fishing experience and the scientists have the technical knowledge.
‘You’ve got the scientists to do the breeding and make sure the eggs are all right.’ says Joel. ‘If they can grow them, I know there’s enough feed out here for them.’
For Plant and Food, the founder enhancement programme is an exciting development.
We’ve bred snapper, but culturing yellow-belly flounder is new for us,’ says Suzy Black, who’s overseeing the project in Nelson.
‘We’ve learned a lot from the snapper breeding programme and we’re getting better and better at it. It’s a three-year project – but if we’re lucky we might make a release faster than that.’
The Bradleys, who live on Kaituna Estuary near Havelock, have seized the chance to be part of the programme because they’re often accused of over-fishing and being part of the problem, rather than the solution.
‘That prompted us to pursue flounder farming or enhancement to assist the fishery to recover,” Michael says.
Their iwi, Rangitane, have been in the sounds for 800 years. ‘It’s really because of our culture that we continue to fish,’ Michael says. ‘If we stop fishing it’ll be the end of our history.’
For more about the Bradleys’ carving and woodwork gallery visit: www.sharknett.co.nz
For more about the history of Pelorus Sound visit: www.peloruspeople.org.nz/havelockmuseum
For more about holidays and activities in Havelock visit: www.havelockinfocentre.co.nz
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