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What we do

In order to qualify as a charitable Trust, the Opotiki Community REAF Trust needed to submit how it will address several areas, namely its Rules, not for profit Purposes, Educational aspects, Promotion and outlining what it actually intends Doing.


Not for Profit.  Probably the reason little is done in the way of reef building in Aotearoa is because no one can make money from it, fishing is free here. But wild fisheries mostly is in the decline both locally and worldwide. Recreational catch limits have been cut over years. (See Blog viewable on computer - One Fish, Two Fish)

The Opotiki Community REAF Trust is not just about building an enhanced area of seabed that marine life, fish and communities will find of benefit. It is also about raising awareness of conservation approaches that work. Starting with a poor  ecology square nautical mile of seabed, early Opotiki reef deployments offered challenges but fishing survey results proved encouraging with both greater species diversity and quantity being recorded. 

The acronym REAF (Recreating Enhanced Areas for Fishing) is incorporated in the Trusts name. It reflects an approach to conservation that is holistic in its endeavors, recognizing mankind's inter-connectedness with his environment,  and other such factors.

The OCRTrust will endeavor to promote local Maori Tikanga - such values as manaakitanga (Safety of fishermen), fishing being for Kai (seafood), observing Rahui (temporary fishing bans), Koha (sharing sea food), whakapapa (making connections), and Maramataka (fishing by moon phases).

It is intended that the Trust will sponsor practical interactive events on a range of relevant topics, such as how to fill out the Google based Fishing log form and what it can tell us; Sea Gardening through reef module building, small craft reef deployment, diver monitoring; using your sonar; reef anchoring, use of tie up buoys, no snag fishing techniques and so on. 

It is also envisaged that a modified school educational program could be developed so that kiwi children can 'connect with the moana' through art work done on concrete structures using colored plaster cement, tiles, shells and more. Such 'Gifts for Tangaroa' can be deployed in designated school 'sea plots'. Tying knots, teaching the weaving of flax nets for oyster shell deployment are other possible suited curricula activities are envisaged. 

Other practical aspects of REAF (also Real Eco Active Fishing) encourage the use of recurve (circle hooks), use of stone or steel sinkers, full utilization of our catch, Logging our catch, (both Log forms and online), and focus on utilising our catch fully. 

Collective fishing results from submitted Logs will be published seasonally. Tracking Opotiki Fishing should give us indicators on such things as whether fish stocks are building, species diversity improving, and how often fisher folk are using the enhanced Community Reef area. 

Another of the roles of the Trust is to approve, record and track  'sea plots' , their GPS locations, sponsors and the materials deployed. In this regard the Trust has a kaitiaki (guardianship) role, to protect the wairua (spirit) of the reef endeavor.

In the promotion area, a Facebook page 'communityreef' has been established  now for many years and on it reef survey pictures, fishing pictures, marine mysteries and more are published. Your 'Like' or 'Follow' the page helps spread the reef concept and gives weight to funding applications.  Upcoming events will also be publicised through emailing and fb 'community reef' page

Funds raised will be used in administration (Resource Consents), research, reef module  trials, workshop days, event publicity (facebook ads), flyers, development of suitable undersea buoys, deployments, promotional materials, educational resources and training workshops. A fit for purpose vessel would be great :-)

It is viewed that this is an era for experimentation.  As mankind develops a fuller realization of his interconnected relationship with his environment, then we believe there will grow even greater benefit from such a nascent effort as the Trust currently plans for and undertakes.  

AFS ON Marine Connection 2010.jpg
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