Community Reefs

9 news updates

Easter fishing

in April 2012

How long does it take 4 Malaysians here in Opotiki to pack Kiwifruit, (only one had ever fished before) with one packet of pilchards, no burley, and one reef to completely fill the bin with good sized snapper and kahawai and some extras to give away? Only about 75 mins. We think the reefs are proving their worth.

in February 2012

The FaceBook page is where you can view comments and pictures on fishing efforts in our local waters and on the Opotiki Community Reef. A link to a short dive shows the seabed, whelks and colonization of a small piece of reef structure by green lipped mussels. Tight lines, Lloyd H.

Petrol price rise 2011

in March 2011

The area designated 'Opotiki Community Ref' continues to be a fished area by Opotiki locals. With petrol prices on the move upward again the worth of enhancing an area of seabed close to boat launching areas is proving its worth. Keeping a clean renewable source of healthy fish protein coming into a community is something I consider should be accounted as essential.

Research Update

in May 2010

After a full years standardized fishing effort we have caught 30% more fish on the reef area being built compared to the control area, plus an interesting diversity of species.
Full details can be seen on, go to Community Reef monitoring 2009-2010 and at the bottom of the page is a pdf down loadable document.

Fishing well

in July 2009

Our monthly monitoring is going well. Generally fishing the deployed reef produces twice the number of fish as in the control area of similar depth.You can check our first hand accounts on and go to marine life tours.

Further reef deployment

in March 2009

Feb saw another reef deployed, this one built by volunteers from the Opotiki Coast Guard, most of whom are also keen fishermen. The last item to be deployed is a ceramic photo disc. See pic. Well done team.

Update snippets

in December 2008

The required Environmental Resource Consent for the project was gained in October 2007.

The first REAF ( Recreated Enhanced Area for Fish) was deployed in Nov 2007. Around 2 tonnes of enhancement modules were deployed from a 16 foot (5m) recreational boat by two of us over a fortnight. This places seabed enhancement within the capability of many fishermen with boats. No diving needed.

April 2008 The once almost barren area is now fishing consistently well with plenty of fish usually being caught within two hours. More encouraging is the amount of juvenile fish appearing and diversity of species appearing.

Funding to help introduce the concept of seabed enhancement by working with six community groups, is awarded by Environment Bay of Plenty Regional Council (NZ) Environmental Enhancement Fund.

May 9 2008 Opotiki hosts Global issues doco film festival"
May 8 2008 Opotiki News article on the increasing fish abundance and diversity being experienced at the Opotiki Community Reef site.

May 11. Symposium on threatened NZ native fresh water species, with a focus on eels, is held in neighboring Whakatane.

May 15. Crazy talk on the radio News this morning about the possibility of petrol prices doubling to $4 litre within the next two years.

Sat 24 May. Fellow Coast Guard volunteer John relayed that he caught a good John Dory in the vicinity of one of the REAFs deployed. Although reasonably common elsewhere, in a decade of fishing out of Opotiki I have never caught a single one myself. Reports of such catch diversity affirm our efforts.

May 25. Response from Hon Jim Anderton, Minister of Fisheries that "The Ministry's role has been to enable these activities(enhancement) rather than fund or undertake them. I do not see this role changing."

Diversity update Oct 2008

in November 2008

To catch tarakihi out from Opotiki one usually needs to travel some distance, out to the 50m depths. On a recent fishing trip we caught 2 sizeable tarakihi on a deployed reef at 20m, along with an ever increasing diversity of species including gurnard, snapper, trevalli and a skate.

July 08 Mid winter fishing diversity

in July 2008

REAF fishing well, even in mid winter, traditionally a 'hard' fishing time. Included in catch was a frost fish , a deep sea species I've never caught in this area before. A delicacy. Photo posted.