Working in partnership to restore Kākahi (freshwater mussels)
The Biosecurity threats to freshwater taonga invertebrates team is working with the Te Arawa Lakes Trust (TALT) in the Waikato to co-design their project. The iwi consider kākahi to be an extremely important resource, and they feature highly in TALT’s fi sheries management plans and taonga species action plans. However, given the scarcity of kākahi, like the kākāpō, this has become more conceptual than real in recent times. There is huge concern about the decline of kākahi and the impact this decline has had on the engagement of their people with this freshwater taonga.
Co-design of the project between the hapū around the lakes and the project team investigating the ecology of kākahi will help restore these cultural connections. Collection of kākahi is done together with Te Arawa students (and sometimes their whānau) from schools around Lake Rotorua. The project team also make presentations at each of the schools, discussing kākahi and the research being undertaken.
Managing non-native fish may be the answer to safeguarding freshwater taonga (treasured) species.…