State of the Bays Reports

This page contains the State of the Bays – Tasman and Golden Bay Marine Environments reports for 2016. The reports are produced five-yearly.


About the Reports

The coastal marine area of Tasman and Golden bays is an integral part of the region.  The area is dynamic and diverse, and is shaped by a complex web of physical and ecological processes. The bays are economically important to the region; they are worked and lived in, and are used for marine commerce, commercial fishing, tourism, and transport.  People also use the bays for recreation and the sustenance of human health, wellbeing and spirit. 

The bays and their catchments have complex interrelationships that need to be understood and managed in order to ensure that their values are maintained, protected or enhanced over time. 

The bays cross territorial and departmental jurisdictions and land and water boundaries. It is important that the objectives and approaches to management of the bays are integrated in such a way that it provides for their conservation, enhancement, sustainable use and development.

In order to effectively respond to environmental management issues, councils require robust information regarding the state of the environment and pressures on it.  In 2015 the three top of the south councils identified a need to undertake a stocktake of existing monitoring information on the state and trend of the environment of both Tasman and Golden bays in order to:

  • Collate and summarise available information; and
  • Provide a gap analysis between what information exists and what is needed to inform coastal ecosystem monitoring priorities as part of the councils' obligations under the Act and the NZ Coastal Policy Statement 2010 (NZCPS). 

An “Assessment of the State of the Marine Environment in Tasman and Golden Bay” was undertaken by the Cawthron Institute in 2015 and was funded by an Envirolink Large Advice Grant. 

The key elements of the report were a stock take and a summary of existing state and trend monitoring data. The focus of the report was on the sub-tidal environment.

That report was followed in 2016 by a summary report “State of the Bays - Tasman and Golden Bay Marine Environments”. This was funded by an Envirolink Medium Advice Grant. The key elements of this report were a summary of the monitoring methodologies, a general overview of the nature and health of the Bays and main impacts. 

The report is presented in plain language, and in formats able to be re-published widely.  Information for the assessment was drawn from fisheries information, results from the monitoring of consented activities, marine reserves and research projects.  The condition of the water column and seabed are summarised according to key topics as they relate to the state of the marine environment:

  • Primary productivity;
  • Sedimentation;
  • Habitat integrity;
  • Fisheries; and
  • Invasive species.

For each theme the report considers:

  • Why it is important;
  • Where the information comes from;
  • What the information tells us; and
  • What changes could be considered.