Last edited 2 months ago
by Elise

Seachange Surveys

Seachange Surveys
Image Seachange Surveys logo col.jpg
Project Seachange Surveys
Group WIld for Taranaki
Topic Natural history, Beach and coastal
Resources online yes
School sessions yes
Level Primary, Intermediate, High School
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Web address
Location Oakura, Taranaki

Seachange Surveys is a community led Kaupapa that was funded for two years in a row by Curious Minds project. The intention behind this Kaupapa is to support local communities in the monitoring of coastal species, primarily mātaitai (seafood), in their rohe moana (coastal area). While funded by Curious Minds, Seachange Surveys developed a survey method with help and feedback from the local Kaitake community. The timed count survey method was designed to monitor changes in paua abundance and size distribution over time, which can help inform management decisions at a community level.

Timed count survey method

The timed count survey method takes no more than 30 minutes and has been designed for fishermen who may want to conduct a survey before or after they gather their paua. You can conduct this survey on foot during a low spring tide, or during a mid-tide, with snorkel gear.

How to start: The survey is split into two overlapping time periods. Start the first ten-minute survey when you reach the edge of the reef that is covered by water. Slowly swim or walk around the contour of the reef until you spot your first pāua. At this point you stop the 10-minute timer, and your 20-minute time period begins. This allows you to time how long it takes to find your first pāua.

All pāua in the area should be counted and their length estimated in situ (attached to the rock). Only disturb rocks or boulders if you are surveying on foot. Remember to put all boulders carefully back where you found them. Individual pāua should be counted and their estimated length recorded on a dive slate or using our electronic field sheet (find link below).

Where to start: Select a natural feature (i.e., large distinctive bolder) as your starting point, and slowly snorkel or walk in a northward direction, examining every crevice and the base of every boulder as you go, until your 20 minutes is up. Aim to cover 40 metres in 20 minutes.

Survey 123 field sheet: To learn more about the data collected though this project contact Taipuni Ruakere at Taranaki Iwi. Email:

To learn more about the timed count survey method contact the project coordinator through Wild for Taranaki.

Advocacy poster for paua - Mandarin and Te Reo Maori Translation

Seachange paua advocacy sign translations.png


Blair, T. (2002). A Community Guide to Monitoring Paua and Kina Populations.

Otaraua Hapū. (2003). Kaimoana Survey Guidelines for Hapü and Iwi.

Conservation Council of SA. (2007). Intertidal Training Manual.

Laferriere, A. M. (2016). Examining the ecological complexities of blackfoot paua demography and habitat requirements in the scope of marine reserve protection.

David, J., & Davies, A. (2006). Early life ecology of Haliotis iris: The effects of algal habitat, depth and substrate complexity on recruitment.

Debbie Free. (2006). Te Angiangi and Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserves: Intertidal Paua and Kina Monitoring. Technical Support - Marine East Coast Hawke’s Bay Conservancy.