Kawau Island: Dredging underway at Iris Shoal to remove caulerpa

Targeted dredging to eradicate exotic caulerpa seaweed from Iris Shoal near Kawau Island in Te Moananui-ā-Toi|Hauraki Gulf started today, said Ngāti Manuhiri.

photo courtesy of We are Ngāti Manuhiri

The suction dredging trial is being delivered in partnership with Ngāti Manuhiri Settlement Trust (the Trust) and Biosecurity New Zealand, including marine specialists from NIWA and Bay Underwater Services NZ Ltd.

Dredging involves divers using an underwater suction pump to extract caulerpa from the seabed, and this trial will help inform how we remove caulerpa in other areas,” said Nicola MacDonald, Chief Executive of the Trust.

“The program will be underway for the next three weeks and we hope to remove close to 18 hectares of caulerpa from the seafloor as well as identify other potential sites for dredging.”

The work is expected to continue until approximately 17 May (weather permitting).