Last Update: 01 December 2017 - Completion/Release of Fiordland Interviews
Next Update: September 2019 for Completion/Release of n=17 Foveaux Strait Interviews
OVERALL PROGRESS: 31 Interviews Completed/Released, 37 Interviews Remaining (n=17 Foveaux Strait, n=20 Rakiura/Stewart Island)
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Conservation and Management of White Pointers
in Coastal Waters of Aotearoa/New Zealand:
The Role of Māori, Local and Science Knowledge Systems
Principal Investigator: Steve Crawford
(University of Guelph, Canada)
This is an independent, proof-of-concept research project that combines social and natural science to investigate the insights that different knowledge systems (Māori, Local and Science) can contribute to (1) conservation ecology and (2) management decision-making regarding the population of White Pointers (Mango Taniwha, Great White Shark, Carcharodon carcharias) inhabiting coastal waters of Aotearoa/New Zealand. Special attention is placed on recent management conflicts that have emerged between the NZ Department of Conservation and people of the Foveaux Strait region, specifically regarding the behavioural and ecological effects of shark cage tour dive operations at Edwards Island, just north of Rakiura/Stewart Island. To be clear, I am neither for nor against these tour operations - but rather see myself as an independent analyst who is very much for respectful inclusivity, explicit clarity, transparency and accountability in conflict resolution and management decision-making.
During the period October 2015-February 2016, more than 70 interviews were conducted with expert knowledge holders with experience in one or more of five different Southland regions, from Otago to Fiordland. These knowledge holders came from a wide variety of backgrounds, including: swimmers, boarders, surf life savers, scuba divers, spearfishermen, boaters, commercial fishermen, recreational fishermen, marine ecologists, - as well as the two shark tour dive operators themselves. The combined body of knowledge shared by these experts provides unprecedented insight into the nature of these magnificent animals, and will help to provide a sound basis for resolving the outstanding management challenges associated with conservation ecology and future management planning for the White Pointer population of Aotearoa/New Zealand.