Could a Warmer Firth Harm Aquaculture

In the last few days, the sea temperature in parts of the Firth of Thames has risen to an astonishing 25°. This is about 5° or 6 ° above the average for December.

seatempsFirth

It’s not just the Hauraki Gulf which is warming so rapidly – large parts of the Tasman Sea between New Zealand and Tasmania are also 5° or 6 ° above the long-term average for this time of the year.

seasurfaceanomalynov2017

People may welcome warmer temperatures for swimming – not that anyone swims much in the Firth anyway. In reality, this warming trend is a serious concern. Scientists are becoming increasingly worried about the effect rising sea temperatures will have on marine life – particularly hard-shelled molluscs such as mussels and oysters, due to acidification of the ocean. Lower pH in seawater can make the shells of mussels and other shellfish much softer and brittle and there is increasing evidence of a drop in production for aquaculture due to this effect. Already the pH in waters in the Firth of Thames is higher than expected. Continue reading “Could a Warmer Firth Harm Aquaculture”

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Latest Coastal Hazard Guidance Out Soon?

Briefing to Climate Change Minister James Shaw urges immediate action to release report

The failure of the previous government to release the latest Ministry for the Environment Guidelines to Local Authorities on Coastal Hazards and Climate Change before the election has meant that numerous dodgy coastal subdivisions, developments and infrastructure had been able to slip through the cracks.  Because the latest guidance was not officially released, councils such as the Thames-Coromandel District Council have had a convenient excuse for not imposing higher sea level rise and other climate-change-related controls on coastal development. Continue reading “Latest Coastal Hazard Guidance Out Soon?”

DoC Review of NZCPS Still Under Wraps

In the last few months, I have highlighted several cases where the Thames-Coromandel District Council has either turned a blind eye or completely ignored the directions in the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement 2010. The policies relating to climate change and sea level rise in the NZCPS have been largely ignored by the Council when considering major coastal infrastructure and coastal subdivision projects.

So it was interesting to read in the just-published briefings to the Minister of Conservation that the Department of Conservation completed a report way back in July 2017 entitled “Review of the effect of the NZCPS on RMA decision-making”. The briefing says the report has still to be discussed with Ministers, even though DoC acknowledges that there is a high degree of public interest in the report’s findings. Continue reading “DoC Review of NZCPS Still Under Wraps”

Thames Bus Update – some personal reflections

The Thames bus service began its official service on Monday after a low key but enjoyable official launch and ribbon-cutting.

thames bus

After only three days of operation, over 85 seniors have already taken a free ride using their Super Gold Card and there have been quite a few cash customers as well. Bus driver Dave told me today that for the first time today there was a time between two stops when there was no one on the bus, but for the rest of the entire circuits for three days there has always been customers. Continue reading “Thames Bus Update – some personal reflections”

Thames Bus Service to Start 4 December

The new Thames bus service will officially begin next Monday 4 December.   Fares just $2

Fantastic and exciting news.

Congratulations to Thames Taxis who have been awarded the 6 month trial contract. Thames Taxis have purchased a brand-new 17 seater Ford Transit minibus to provide the service. The bus has very comfortable seats with seat belts, air conditioning, a security camera, entry handrails, and an electric step which slides out when the bus door is opened. Thames Taxis are to be applauded for providing such an excellent new vehicle.

Continue reading “Thames Bus Service to Start 4 December”