Conservation status of marine mammals

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5665
42
Added
19 Oct 2016

This dataset was first added to MfE Data Service on 19 Oct 2016.

New Zealand has a diverse range of marine mammal species and subspecies, including whales, dolphins, seals, and sea lions. Marine mammals are indicator species for the state of our marine environment. The conservation status of a species relates to its risk of extinction.
Many of these species are endemic (only found in) to New Zealand. They are apex species (near the top of the food chain) and can thrive only if their ecosystems are healthy. A decreasing population can indicate that the ecosystem is degrading. Marine mammals played an important part in New Zealand history; in the past whales and seals were hunted in great numbers. Now we have a rapidly-growing whale- and dolphin-watching industry.

Table ID 53481
Data type Table
Row count 29
Services Web Feature Service (WFS), Catalog Service (CS-W), data.govt.nz Atom Feed

Shark catch use (2003–2015)

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5711
39
Added
19 Oct 2016

This dataset was first added to MfE Data Service on 19 Oct 2016.

New Zealand waters have at least 117 species of chondrichthyans (sharks, rays, and other cartilaginous fish species). They are particularly vulnerable to overfishing because they are long-lived, mature slowly, and have a low reproductive rate. Chondrichthyans are important for healthy ocean ecosystems, and reporting their commercial catch and bycatch helps us understand the sustainability of our fisheries.

Table ID 53482
Data type Table
Row count 52
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Hector’s and Māui dolphin deaths (1921–2015)

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand

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6883
49
Added
19 Oct 2016

This dataset was first added to MfE Data Service on 19 Oct 2016.

The Hector’s and Māui dolphins are subspecies of the small dolphin Cephalorhynchus hectori. These coastal dolphins are endemic to New Zealand (not found anywhere else). Māui dolphins are found on the west coast of the North Island, most often between Maunganui Bluff, north of Dargaville, and New Plymouth. Hector’s dolphins are mostly found around the South Island. Both subspecies are threatened with extinction. The Hector’s dolphin is classified as nationally endangered, while the Māui dolphin is nationally critical. Dolphins can become entangled in fishing gear used by both commercial and recreational fishers, with set nets posing a particularly high risk. Reporting the bycatch of protected species helps us understand the pressures our protected marine species face from fishing.
We report on two aspects of Hector’s and Māui dolphin deaths based on data extracted from the Department of Conservation (DOC) Incident Database for 1921–2015: the number of dolphin deaths by cause of death, including a comparison of deaths over 1996–2015; and the number of dolphin deaths from entanglement by type of fishing gear.

Table ID 53475
Data type Table
Row count 561
Services Web Feature Service (WFS), Catalog Service (CS-W), data.govt.nz Atom Feed

Commercial catch for sharks and rays

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand

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5437
30
Added
24 Oct 2016

This dataset was first added to MfE Data Service on 24 Oct 2016.

New Zealand waters have at least 117 species of chondrichthyans (sharks, rays, and other cartilaginous fish species). They are particularly vulnerable to overfishing because they are long-lived, mature slowly, and have a low reproductive rate. Chondrichthyans are important for healthy ocean ecosystems, and reporting their commercial catch and bycatch helps us understand the sustainability of our fisheries.

Table ID 53508
Data type Table
Row count 453
Services Web Feature Service (WFS), Catalog Service (CS-W), data.govt.nz Atom Feed

Performance of assessed fish stock in relation to the soft limit (2009–15)

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5092
23
Added
14 Oct 2016

This dataset was first added to MfE Data Service on 14 Oct 2016.

Our fish stocks are affected by commercial, customary, and recreational fishing, and environmental pressures (eg ocean temperature, acidity, and productivity). The Ministry for Primary Industries uses three performance measures to assess influences on fish stocks: a soft limit (below which a rebuilding plan is required), a hard limit (below which closing a fishery should be considered), and an overfishing threshold (where the rate of extraction is higher than the rate of replenishment).

Table ID 53467
Data type Table
Row count 14
Services Web Feature Service (WFS), Catalog Service (CS-W), data.govt.nz Atom Feed

Area of seabed trawled by depth class (1990–2011)

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand

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5103
10
Added
19 Oct 2016

This dataset was first added to MfE Data Service on 19 Oct 2016.

Seabed trawling and dredging (where fishing gear is towed near or along the ocean floor) can physically damage seabed (benthic) habitats and species. These fishing methods can also stir up sediment from the seabed, creating sediment plumes that can smother sensitive species. Recovery times for affected habitats and species depend on their sensitivity and the area affected by trawling or dredging. Bottom trawling is carried out on or near the seabed in both shallow and deep waters. Dredging is carried out on the seabed in shallow waters and targets marine creatures such as scallops. This measure focuses on deepwater areas (waters deeper than 200m).

Table ID 53486
Data type Table
Row count 4
Services Web Feature Service (WFS), Catalog Service (CS-W), data.govt.nz Atom Feed

Mean chlorophyll-a concentrations and anomalies (1997–2016)

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand

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5122
30
Added
25 Oct 2016

This dataset was first added to MfE Data Service on 25 Oct 2016.

Measured oceanic chlorophyll-a (chl-a) concentrations as an indicator of marine primary productivity. Phytoplankton are primary producers of biomass (mass of living organisms) and form the main basis of marine food chains. They use the chl-a pigment to capture the sun’s energy through the process of photosynthesis. Phytoplankton growth is affected by the availability of nutrients and light, which in turn are affected by the structure of the surface water column. The surface water column structure is affected by oceanographic and climate processes; large-scale changes to climate and oceanographic conditions can lead to changes in phytoplankton growth and chl-a concentrations.

Table ID 53509
Data type Table
Row count 2220
Services Web Feature Service (WFS), Catalog Service (CS-W), data.govt.nz Atom Feed

Coastal extreme waves (2008–15)

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand

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6079
15
Added
19 Oct 2016

This dataset was first added to MfE Data Service on 19 Oct 2016.

Extreme wave indexes estimate the occurrence of extreme wave events in coastal and oceanic waters. Extreme wave indexes estimate the number of times a significant wave height exceeds one of three threshold values for at least 12 hours in 24 marine regions. The three wave-height thresholds are four metres, six metres, and eight metres.
This indicator estimates the exceedances of wave-height thresholds for each year from 2008 to 2015 in coastal areas.
Significant wave height is a measure of the ‘typical’ wave height in a place over a time period. It is four times the standard deviation of the water surface if, for example, you were to measure water moving up and down a jetty piling for an hour. The largest individual wave will typically have a height around twice the significant wave height.
We use three wave-height thresholds because of the regional variation in extreme wave events. In general, the north experiences less exposure to consistently strong winds, and the waves generated by them, than the south. Four-metre tall waves are considered extreme in the northern-most parts of New Zealand but are more common in the south. For the southern-most parts of New Zealand, eight-metre waves better represent extreme wave events.

Table ID 53476
Data type Table
Row count 54
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Ocean storms (1979–2015)

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4828
20
Added
14 Oct 2016

This dataset was first added to MfE Data Service on 14 Oct 2016.

The ocean storm index estimates the number of days in a year when wind speeds exceed gale and storm force on the Beaufort Scale. In a gale, sea conditions are rough and waves can be over six metres high. In a storm, waves can be over 10 metres high. To put this into context, on land a near gale would make walking difficult, and a storm would cause some damage to roofs, chimneys, and trees. Climate change could lead to changes in the frequency and intensity of storms. More frequent and intense storms will likely be a stressor for habitats and species.
The ocean storm index estimates the number of days that wind speeds exceed gale and storm force on the Beaufort Scale. The Beaufort Scale is a widely used international classification that rates sea conditions from 0 (calm) to 12 (hurricane). We report on estimated wind speeds broken down to:
- gales – measure 8 on the scale, have rough sea conditions with wind speeds of approximately 62–74 km per hour and wave heights of 5.5 metres
- storms – measure 10 on the scale, have wind speeds of approximately 89–102 km per hour and wave heights of 9–11.5 metres (McDonald & Parsons, 2016)

Table ID 53465
Data type Table
Row count 74
Services Web Feature Service (WFS), Catalog Service (CS-W), data.govt.nz Atom Feed

Marine economy: building consents (2007–2013)

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand

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5081
7
Added
19 Oct 2016

This dataset was first added to MfE Data Service on 19 Oct 2016.

The marine economy shows the contribution of marine-based economic activities to the New Zealand economy. Measuring the marine economy shows how New Zealand’s marine environment is used to generate economic activity and how this changes over time. However, these activities can also be a source of pressure on New Zealand’s marine environment.
Building consent data on wharves and wharf sheds is used to provide estimates for activity within the marine construction category. Building consents are an estimate, at the time of applying for the consent, of the value of the work to be put in place. For more information, see Statistics New Zealand (2016).

Table ID 53490
Data type Table
Row count 28
Services Web Feature Service (WFS), Catalog Service (CS-W), data.govt.nz Atom Feed
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