26 Nov Paua Legal in Nz
Justine: Under normal circumstances, you can take 10 legal pāua a day. But that doesn`t mean you have to get it every time. 10 might be more than you need. “Paua may have cost a lot of money in the past, but today you`d be lucky if a quota earned you a lot more than 10% of your investment,” says Wallace. He started the Paua business with a six-ton quota when the ministry opened the Kahurangi coast as an experimental fishery in 1994. Its dense clusters of Paua-150-plus animals were the highest recorded in a recent survey in New Zealand. “Many of the quota holders have struggled to meet their quotas,” says Wallace. “But it wasn`t just the weather and the bad markets. Despite the appearance of an abundant Pauae, there simply did not exist the total population.
They shot us all at the end of the 1996 season and closed the fishery. We did our best, but I think I will leave that to the big guys in the future. Artificial foods, like most ready meals, come at a high price. Kiwi Co-Op Dairies in Hawera make a strip of casein suspended above my side of the tank. Juvenile Paua love the pure protein casein product for this growing muscle. Later, they can eat bags of food containing about 40% processed seaweed. This was originally imported from South Africa, but some of it is now manufactured in New Zealand. “Most fishermen in Paua have other businesses,” he adds. You can report poaching, suspicious or illegal activities online: Over time, the cultivation of paua for meat may be overshadowed by another development: paua pearls. One theory is that paua “nurseries” deliver recruits directly into sounds protected by migration to more exposed locations. The protected Marlborough Sounds, for example, have a relatively high number of juveniles, which is reassuring for divers catching more distant stocks. Studies on the movement of marked paua have shown that they can move several kilometers over time. First the mussels, then the meat; 40 years of almost continuous hammering and it began to appear in the 1980s.
Even the introduction of a total allowable commercial catch (TACC) in the 1986/87 season for each of the eight quota management areas (MAQs) surrounding our coast has done little to allay fears that Paua is about to leave. There are also regional differences in coloring, a fact highly appreciated by buyers of paua mussels. The most sought-after mussels usually come from colder waters where they grow more slowly: especially Kaikoura, Fiordland and Stewart Island. In the north of the North Island, shells grow quickly, but rarely exceed 90 mm and are always thin and unsuitable for jewelry work. Chatham Island Paua mussels, of which an average of 10 tons are shipped each month, tend to be slightly thinner than mussels from the south of the continent, as the animal grows faster, but the color is very good. Queen Paua tends to hide in crevices and is distinguished by the silvery inner sheen and sagging exterior of the shell, as well as the color of the foot, which, despite its name, is orange rather than yellow. It is said that, traditionally, Maori did not take yellowfoot, as they believed they were blackfoot females; therefore, they were called Queen Paua by Europeans. To make pāau beads, pāua are harvested from wild stocks (at the legal size of 12.5 cm), shell or plastic implants are either pierced through the shell or fixed with glue under the shell, the shape of the insert determines the shape of the final pearl. Once the pāua are “seeds”, they are stored in tanks for 2 to 3 years and fed with seaweed or flour while covering the insert with mother-of-pearl.
After 2-3 years, they are harvested from the tanks, the meat is swallowed, and the pearl is then removed. The quality and size of the pearl changes depending on the size of the pāau. Pearls tend to be smaller when hatchery-raised pāua are used, which is why wild pāua are preferred. A high level of stress inside the farm can prevent the pāua from covering the insert to produce the pearl, so controlling the conditions in the farm to ensure that the pāua are not stressed is paramount in pearl production. Less than a year later, another Chatham Paua diver, Vaughan Hill, suffered more horrific injuries when a great white shark attacked him while working in the water just two feet deep, 100 metres off the coast of Pitt Island. It`s a quiet life, but the warm waters of early summer will really get you going. If you are a male Pauaa, you will expel millions of sperm into the swirling water column. They hope that some of them will meet and fertilize the multitude of tiny eggs sown simultaneously by nearby females.
Tong has been running courses for budding paua growers since the mid-1980s. He gives me the facts: “Paua needs very specific conditions. Clean seawater, for starters. They do not tolerate the ingress of fresh water or mud, especially young animals. The external sounds of Marlborough are particularly appropriate. Port Underwood, for example: no big rivers and strong currents flushing the system. Stewart Island is also an excellent place for Paua cattle ranching.