Wandering off

By EcoShutterBug2

Low tide at Te Hakapupu

The ebb and flow of the sea as it is pulled back and forward by the weight of the moon and sun creates one of the world’s most long running movies.  It’s a scene we can watch from our lounge window at Tūmai, so you will likely get a lot of Blips (film shorts) of that scene in the coming months.  

This photograph looks across Te Hakapupu (Pleasant River) estuary to a raised sand spit that separates it from the Pacific Ocean.  Te Hakapupu is 45 km north of Dunedin.  

This image is taken at low tide. I have used a very slow Intentional Camera Movement and low perspective to smooth out the sand textures, while still defining the forms of the sand banks and water channels.

This estuary has been slated to become a Marine Reserve by a 5-year stakeholder consultation forum, but its establishment is still being opposed by commercial and some recreational and Māori customary fishers.  This is the end game of a 30-year political battle to establish marine reserves in the south-eastern coast of Te Waipounamu, the South Island of New Zealand.  

New Zealand has created many large nature reserves over around 32% of its land area – but it has been frightfully slow and bitterly divided about reserving areas of the nearshore marine and estuarine ecosystems. Well-organised and resourced commercial fishing industries have opposed reserves vociferously and lobbied successfully, yet surveys deploying state of art ‘choice experiments’ from economics have shown that the general public of New Zealand would by far prioritise protection and restoration of marine biodiversity than commercial, recreational or customary fishing interests.  At stake in this debate is who owns and gets to say what happens in our marine ecosystems.

There are many plants and animals to protect (and photograph) at Te Hakapupu, but this first shot is intended to just celebrate the light and landscape in which they live. Nature reserves are often like that – things of scenic beauty as well as nests for nurturing biodiversity. 

I have added two 'Extra' images of the sunrise earlier in the day.  It pairs with the one posted on my main Blip journal, EcoShutterBug, today from further up the ridge. It has ended up here because I've run out of Extras in that primary account.

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