Latest News from Northland Dive

Stay tuned for the latest news from the shed: upcoming events, visibility reports, accom. availability for the weekend and dive trip updates. (Our new dive forum will be back online shortly.)

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Nov 25, 2012, Rahui in Deep Water Cove has been rolled over

Brilliant news everyone the Rahui in Deep Water Cove has been rolled over so can you please pass this information onto as many people as possible.  The Iwi have gone to great lengths to get this approved so lets all help to pass the message on.

Apr 11, 2011, Unicorn Triggerfish (Aluterus monoceros) on the Canterbury Wreck

Photographer Charlie McVicar

The first sighting of this fish was on the 26th of March by Tara Barry, and Shane Housham of Northland Dive who normally has a camera permanently attached to his arm was running a PADI Advanced Course on Sunday 10th April on the Canterbury Wreck (Deep Water Cove) in the Bay of Islands, Murphy's Law he spotted the biggest Leatherjacket he's ever seen in 20 years of diving, on closer inspection it looked more like a Trigger fish and oversized John Dory cross breed, Luckily we had two friends diving on the day Antoinette Le Valliant and Charlie McVicar, Charlie had a camera and managed to get a great photograph of this unusual fish which is approximately 40-50cm in length.

ID by: Malcolm Francis

What a superb photo! It's not the scribbled triggerfish Aluterus scriptus, but it's close relative the unicorn triggerfish Aluterus monoceros. Both species have been recorded before in northern NZ waters but both are very rare. They are semi-pelagic and associate with drifting seaweed and logs, hence can travel long distances on ocean currents. The scribbled leatherjacket differs in having scribbled blue lines and dots on its body, lots of black speckles, a longer tail and a concave forehead profile

This ID is thanks once again to Wade Doak and his fantastic website

Mar 17, 2011, Yellow Box Fish- Ostracion Cubicus

After visiting Wade Doaks website on Monday I got very excited when I heard that Debbie Welch had spotted this 1cm yellow ball of cuteness on the 'Canterbury Wreck'.  So Shane and I went out on Tuesday to find the little critter, the plan was to diving one up, one down with both of us on Nitrox to maximize search time.  I managed to locate him within a couple on minutes....fantastic!!!

Shane had noticed I was onto my time behind the camera was limited!

Nov 22, 2010, Northland Northern Advocate

Northland Northern Advocate

Fishing banned in bay to assist fish stocks

By: Peter de Graaf | 19th November 2010


Fishing has been banned for two years in Maunganui Bay in the Bay of Islands, which includes Deep Water Cove - final resting place of the former Navy frigate Canterbury.

The closure, ordered by the Ministry of Fisheries, starts on December 1 and lasts for two years.

The ban applies to all fish, aquatic life and seaweed, with kina the only exception.

Rawhiti hapu Ngati Kuta and Patukeha placed a rahui over the bay in March last year amid concerns over depleted fish stocks.

Yesterday's announcement adds official clout to the rahui, and the prospect of stiff penalties for those caught fishing in the bay near the tip of Cape Brett peninsula.

HMNZS Canterbury, New Zealand's last steam frigate, was sunk in Deep Water Cove in November 2007 and has since become a Mecca for divers and marine life.

The Ministry said kina were excluded from the ban because they were abundant in the area.

The closure has been welcomed by the bay's diving fraternity.

Northland Dive's Shane Housham - who began the campaign to bring the Canterbury to the Bay of Islands - said the closure would protect the wreck from being fouled by hooks and lines.

His business gave diving clients a chance to sign a submission calling for a fishing closure and not one had been against it, he said.

Patukeha spokesman Richard Witehira said the hapu would have been just as happy with a voluntary ban - but a high-profile area like the Bay of Islands attracted a lot of visitors who did not always respect or understand the rahui.

It was unfortunate the closure had to be made official, "but that's probably the way things are these days".
The rahui was prompted by people fishing directly over the wreck within weeks of the Canterbury's sinking, tangling lines and creating diving hazards.

The original idea was a 200m exclusion zone around the wreck but closing the whole bay gave fish a place to breed and spread out into the rest of the Bay of Islands, he said.

"That's got to be good for everyone," he said.

The bay will be patrolled by fishery officers enforcing the closure, with a maximum fine of $100,000 for anyone caught breaching it.

Nov 19, 2010, Rahui Deep Water Cove (Maunganui Bay)

Posted on: Ministry of Fisheries Website yesterday

Temporary fishing closure for Maunganui Bay, Bay of Islands
18 November 2010

The Ministry of Fisheries today announced a two-year closure to fishing for all species except kina in Maunganui Bay, which includes Deep Water Cove, on the Cape Brett Peninsula in the Bay of Islands.

Ngati Kuta and Patukeha Hapū ki Te Rawhiti, the two resident hapū, requested that the temporary closure be put in place because of their concern that fishstocks in Maunganui Bay were depleted.

Temporary closures in North Island waters can be put in place under section 186A of the Fisheries Act 1996 at the request of local tangata whenua if the closure will improve the availability and/or size of fisheries resources in the area, or recognise a customary fishing practice in that area, such as a rāhui (closure).

Since March 2009, Ngati Kuta and Patukeha have placed a rāhui over Maunganui Bay to the take of all fish.

Gavin Lockwood, Ministry of Fisheries Deputy Chief Executive Fisheries Management, said kina was excluded from the temporary closure because the available information shows that kina are abundant in Maunganui Bay.

Helen Harte, project manager for the fisheries projects of the two hapū, said that while Maunganui Bay is an important customary fishing area for the tangata whenua of Rawhiti, the hapu also recognise that the area is valued by recreational fishers and divers.

"The two hapū were encouraged by the widespread support they had received from the local community for this initiative," Mrs Harte said. "We consider that by providing statutory support to the rāhui, this temporary closure will assist with regeneration of fishstocks that are depleted in the area, not only for customary purposes but also for the benefit of the wider community."

From 1 December 2010 until 30 November 2012, Maunganui Bay will be closed to the take of all fish, aquatic life and seaweed, except kina.

Fishery Officers will patrol and enforce the temporary closure. Fines of up to $100,000 can apply to anybody breaching it. Members of the public are encouraged to call 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476 224) if they see anything suspicious at Maunganui Bay, or elsewhere.