Explosion of NZ Kina (sea eggs) upsets biodiversity…

 
These kina are themselves inedible because of growth deficiencies caused by being overcrowded. Photo / Supplied

An increase in the number of kina sucking the life out of the seabed is causing growing concern among Northland marine environmentalists.

Conservationist Wade Doak said the destruction of the coastal biodiversity is so severe iwi should consider the implications under the terms of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Also called sea eggs and sea urchins, an over abundance of kina in places causes what marine biologists call barrens – areas stripped of other seabed life.

Overfishing of predator species with jaws able to break into kina, such as snapper, red moki, porae and crayfish, is thought to be the major contributor to the breakdown in the ecosystem.

As kina proliferate they destroy the “forests” of kelp they live on, in turn destroying the shelter for juvenile fish and other species that feed on pea-sized young kina.

Mr Doak said the problem has led to parts of the coast becoming “a marine desert, except for bristling kina spines”.

Read more:

http://m.nzherald.co.nz/northern-advocate/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503450&objectid=11372552

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