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In this issue: A new look, World Oceans Day, eDNA video

Kia ora koutou,


The first few months of the UN Decade of Ocean Science have been busy for us. In March, our Governance Group and Kāhui Māori met kanohi ki te kanohi (in person) at a wānanga held at Te Manukanuka o Hoturoa Marae in Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland. We have been absorbing the comprehensive and much-anticipated PM’s Chief Science Advisor’s report into the future of commercial fishing and we welcomed the Budget 2021 funding to address data gaps in national environmental monitoring.
 
We have some upcoming changes in leadership and engagement. Beth Tupara-Katene, Tangaroa programme leader and Engagement Specialist – Māori, is stepping down from these roles at the end of June. She will remain with us as co-lead for the Treaty relationships and EBM project. We will announce her replacement in the near future. We also welcomed Desna Whaanga-Schollum to the Communications Team as our Communications Advisor – Māori. 
 
In research news, the Ocean Plastic Simulator has been extended to all of the country, our Innovation Fund projects are now online, and the feedback from our stakeholder survey last year has been critical to our planning for 2021/22, and beyond. Thank you to those who participated.
 
Lastly, you may notice this newsletter looks a little different: we are testing a shorter, more streamlined approach to make our news and research more digestible. Feedback is welcome, there is a quick poll at the end.

Ngā manaakitanga,


Dr Julie Hall, Challenge Director
Ngā mahinga o nā tata nei 
Recent activities
Earlier this year, cumulative effects researchers and a crew of local collaborators spent 2 weeks in the Marlborough Sounds. Read about how the process of doing research had ripple effects with local school kids and the community.
 
As part of our Briefing to Hon David Parker, Minister for Oceans and Fisheries, we developed this Research Book 2021, a beautifully designed, plain language overview of what we do and our current projects.
 
During Seaweek, 2,000+ school kids went on the LEARNZ virtual field trip with researchers from the Building a seaweed sector project to discover why rimurimu/seaweed is the next wonder crop.

On 22 May, about 30 people attended a public talk with artist-researcher Gabby O'Connor and Karen Fisher for the opening of The Unseen at Tauranga Art Gallery.
 
More than 100 people from regional councils, universities and Australia tuned in to our webinar 'Shady business: the problem of mud in our estuaries'. VUW science communication student Janel Hull recapped some key moments.
Ngā mea hira o te rangahau 
Research highlights 
New guidance from the Tipping Points project provides recommendations to manage the impact of turbidity, nutrients and sea level rise on coasts and estuaries.
 
We do research all over the country. We’ve updated this interactive Google map to show you where all of our past and present projects are.
 
The Growing marine ecotourism project team has completed this in-depth literature review that examines 5 key themes relating to the sustainable development of marine ecotourism for Aotearoa New Zealand.
 
In an open access paper published in Marine Policy, the Policy and legislation for EBM project team suggest that EBM can be best supported by a combination of ‘hooks’ and ‘anchors’. The team have also awarded a Masters scholarship to Lincoln University student Faye White.

Special feature: Uncovering estuary health with eDNA

Research from the Tipping Points project shows eDNA metabarcoding offers a sensitive approach to detect nutrient enrichment effects in estuaries – changing the way we can monitor and protect the health of our estuaries.

Check out this short video with lead author Dana Clark:
Mai i te hunga pāpāho 
In the media 
READ 📰: BayBuzz magazine has covered our Hawke’s Bay research many times, here’s the latest. Joe O’Callaghan’s glider research reached offshore media (pg 72-74). We featured in SeafoodNZ magazine (pg 20-28), and art-science exhibition The Unseen has been seen in Stuff, in EducationHQ, and SunLive.
 
WATCH 👀: Awhi Mai Awhi Atu project leader Kura Paul-Burke and master weaver Whaea Roka Ngarimu-Cameron were on TVNZ’s Rural Delivery (starts 14:40).

LISTEN 🔊: Director Julie Hall spoke with RNZ (~3 mins) about the LEARNZ field trip about the unsung heroes of the ocean – rimurimu/seaweed. Project leader Kura Paul-Burke was featured on NUKU Women podcast (1 hr) on the importance of our moana environments and the benefits of combining mātauranga Māori and Western science. And The Unseen artist-researcher Gabby O’Connor graced Australian airwaves on ABC National Radio (starts 20:15).
Ngā kauhau tuihono 
Webinar series 
Keep an eye on your inbox for upcoming webinar announcements! In the meantime, recordings of the last 2 webinars (and the associated resources) are available below:
Cetacean conservation planning: dealing with uncertainty & data gaps
Fabrice Stephenson presented a tool that can be used to visualise cetacean diversity hotspots with varying levels of uncertainty. Watch recording.
Shady business: the problem of mud in our estuaries
Marine scientists Conrad Pilditch, Simon Thrush, Kura Paul-Burke and research co-developer Megan Carbines discussed the problem of mud in estuaries, what that means for communities, and future management strategies. Watch recording.
Ngā huihuinga e heke iho 
Upcoming events

Unleashing potentials: Transition to a sustainable marine economy

5:30–7pm, Thursday 10 June 
What does the UN Decade of Ocean Science mean for New Zealand? UNANZ Wellington and Auckland branches are hosting Sustainable Seas Challenge researchers and industry partners in a discussion forum on transitioning to a blue economy. The in-person event is happening in Auckland (register here) or Wellington (register here).


World Oceans Day 2021

Tuesday 8 June  
This year’s theme is The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods. The United Nations are hosting this free virtual event with over 40 international speakers including ocean legend Dr Sylvia Earle and wildlife photographer Brian Skerry. Our top pick is the ‘Blue economy and private sector impact’ session.


The Unseen (Tauranga)

22 May–14 September 2021
The Unseen is on its final tour – and it's reached Te Moana-a-Toi/Bay of Plenty! Open 10am4pm daily, Tauranga Art Gallery, 108 Willow St. Event details
 
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