Skip to main content


Home > Our region and environment > Coast > Aquaculture > Aquaculture Research

Aquaculture Research

Bay of Plenty Regional Council began an Aquaculture Management Area project in 2002. The project's goal was to identify opportunities for aquaculture in the Bay of Plenty region.

The project had two parts – development of Coastal Use and Value Maps and an Offshore Science project. The findings give us a good understanding of the Bay of Plenty marine area and help us to decide where new aquaculture might go.

Coastal Use and Value Maps

The Coastal Use and Value Maps (previously called Offshore Use Maps) show all the values and uses associated with the Bay of Plenty coast, including commercial shipping lanes, marine reserves and culturally significant areas. By mapping these, it gives a picture of where it might be appropriate to have a commercial aquaculture venture.

The following set of draft maps went through an intensive consultation process between November 2005 and March 2006. The consultation included a mail out to more than 250 people and interest groups, four public workshops, and numerous hui and presentations.

Map Size and File Type


187KB, pdf

Map 1 Marine Farms
Map 1 Information

469KB, pdf
35.7KB, pdf

Map 2 Navigation
Map 2 Information

161KB, pdf
35.4 KB, pdf
Map 3 Areas of Cultural Significance
Map 3 Information
209KB, pdf
36.5KB, pdf
Map 4 Ecological Values
Map 4 Information
233KB, pdf
40.7KB, pdf
Map 5 Marine Mammals
Map 5 Information
144KB, pdf
32.3KB, pdf
Map 6 Landscape Amenity Values
Map 6 Information
125KB, pdf
33KB, pdf
Map 7 Bottom Trawl 104KB, pdf
Map 8 Danish Seine 143KB, pdf
Map 9 Purse Seine 141KB, pdf
Map 7, 8 and 9 Information 39.2KB, pdf
Map 10 BOP Fisheries Overview
Map 10 Information
143KB, pdf
32.5KB, pdf
Map 11 Charter, Recreational Boating
Map 11 Information
167KB, pdf
34.9KB, pdf
Map 12 Overview
Map 12 Information
185KB, pdf
28.6KB, pdf

 If you would like a hard copy of the maps, please contact us at Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

Offshore Science Project

The Offshore Science Project looked at things like the ecological effects of aquaculture and the amount of food (phytoplankton) in the water.

One of the tools being used in the research is a wave buoy. The wave buoy sits 13 km off the coast of Pukehina and gathers data on the ocean's current and waves. The buoy will continue to collect data for a number of years. Follow the link to find the measurements the Wave Buoy is taking.

Field surveys from mid-2003 through to 2004 intensively sampled seafloor sediments, water chemistry, seafloor biology and phytoplankton. During the same period a current meter and temperature sensors were also used at a number of locations.

The information collected from the field surveys, current meter and temperature sensors helped with the development of models by ASR Limited to predict productivity and the impact of aquaculture.

The following are the completed field survey reports:

Primary production modelling and impacts of AMAs on productivity

We also had the hydrodynamic and primary production modelling reports peer reviewed as follows:

If you have trouble downloading any of these reports, we can provide you with a CD of the reports in PDF format.

On-going Monitoring

Bay of Plenty Regional Council has initiated baseline coastal productivity monitoring in anticipation of large scale aquaculture development in coastal waters. A key aim of the monitoring is to create a baseline of the carrying capacity which can be used to safeguard naturally occurring shellfish resources and other filter feeding species.

The first coastal productivity monitoring report is available at the link below:

Scoping of potential aquaculture expansion in the eastern Bay of Plenty

Bay of Plenty Regional Council is interested in better understanding the potential for additional aquaculture in the eastern Bay of Plenty and has commissioned (with central government co-funding) some preliminary investigations to provide information on the potential scope for aquaculture and its relationship with the proposed development of Opotiki Harbour.

High level scoping studies of environmental issues and other considerations are available at the links below:

For more information

If you have any questions on the AMA Project please contact us on the details below.

Other organisations are also involved in aquaculture research in the Bay of Plenty and throughout New Zealand: