Poachers in Goat Island Marine Reserve

18/10/2016 (601)

Another dive in the Goat Island marine reserve with some mishaps, plenty of pleasant surprises and a really sad one:

Gauges left at home
While I was finishing packing my gear, a courier brought a package for me. I was excited about its content and forgot to my gauges (a computer and a compass). I realised that only after I got to Goat Island. It’s a shallow area between the shore and the island, I could survive without a computer easily, so I went for a dive anyway.

Clear water
Water was surprisingly clear, more than ten metres.

Jellyfish everywhere
Jellyfish and jellyfish-like creatures were hovering everywhere. Those unfortunate ones that got stuck in kelp were eaten by leatherjackets.

EMR working with kids
A group of kids from Whangarei came with EMR to snorkel in the marine reserve. I had a chat with one kid’s dad who came to help. He was a Kiwi, a diver, yet it was his first visit of the reserve ever. He usually catches fish, I was really glad he enjoyed just looking at them.

Juvenile snapper
I saw a school of juvenile snapper above sand. They were about 10cm long, it’s always joy to see the young generation around.

Strong current through the channel
I went for my dive soon after the outgoing tide had started. At the end of it the current in the channel was surprisingly strong. I was swimming to the beach, but it took me under the laboratory.

Video camera switched off accidentally
I usually start my videocamera at the beginning of the dive and let it run while I take pictures. I accidentally turned it off while still on the beach so no footage this time.

Fishing in the marine reserve
When the current took me under the rocky platforms I found three fishing lines with sinkers and hooks there. They were all new, clean lines, shiny hooks and no growth on the sinkers. It’s sad there are still people who think it’s all right to fish in the marine reserve.

EMR kids snorkeling

EMR kids snorkeling on the surface. I believe they really enjoyed the clear water and the calm sea conditions.

Jellyfish near sea surface

Jellyfish near the sea surface.

Comb jelly near sea surface

Comb jelly near sea surface. Under proper light conditions they look like alien spaceships.

Jellyfish above kelp

Jellyfish hovering above a field of kelp.

Red moki under overhang

Red moki resting under the overhang. Perhaps it’s just my impression, but they were more plentiful than usually.

Jellyfish stuck in kelp

Jellyfish stuck in kelp.

Colourful algae

A colourful algae ‘garden’.

Big snapper

Big snapper cruising above kelp forest.