Estuarine Fisheries Surveys

Estuarine Fisheries Surveys

Client: AFFCO NZ Limited – Wairoa

Industries: Meat Production

Services: Lead Environmental Consultant

AFFCO is one of New Zealand’s leading meat companies, processing and exporting more than 150,000 tonnes of quality beef and lamb products every year.  The company operates ten strategically located processing sites across the North Island of New Zealand, employing over 2,800 people nationwide.

AFFCO Wairoa holds varuious resource consnets to discharge.  A condition of consent is that AFFCO is required to undertake a quantitative and qualitative assessment of the effects of the discharge on fish in the Wairoa Estruary.

Our Roles:

ARGO was engaged to developed a sampling strategy and an Environmental Sampling Plan to assess fish in the estuary.  This study which has been undertaken each year since 2014 has involved:

  • Review of existing historical fish data (from the NIWA freshwater fish database) to confirm the likely range of species present in the Wairoa River and tributaries.
  • Collection of anecdotal information – catch histories through interviews with local whitebait (and other) fisherman.
  • Collection of samples from sites located upstream and downstream of the discharge.
  • Use of a range of fish sampling methodologies to determine the most appropriate technique i.e., hand lining, gill netting, fyke netting, etc., for targeting key estuarine species such as grey mullet, kahawai and flounder.
  • Whitebait species sampled from whitebait fishers catch.
  • Analyse data to determine the requisite number of fish sample replicates to allow a statistically robust assessment of effects.
  • Assess fish condition including length, weight, fat content of fish species.