The shocking decline of the Hauraki Gulf

The shocking decline of the Hauraki Gulf

Conservationists are calling on the government to take urgent action in the Hauraki gulf, which has lost more than half its marine life in the last century.

Snapper and crayfish numbers are down more than 80 percent since the 1920s, with 86 percent fewer trevally and sharks.

Fish of the Day host Clarke Gayford says while the Hauraki Gulf is still beautiful, most people don't realise what it has lost.

"It's the shifting baselines, so it's people's perception of what they think is good now versus what it used it used to be like."  

He says most people don't consider the ecological knock-on effect of severe declines in particular species.

Mussels and other shellfish act as natural filters for ocean water, but some populations have been decimated by up to 90 percent, lowering overall water quality in the gulf and removing vital links in the food chain.

Read the full article and watch the video here.

Last updated at 8:53PM on August 10, 2018