Monday, 30 March 2009


One of the most unique harvests in New Zealand is about to get underway on Wednesday but the news is not all that good.

Hundreds of Rakiura Maori, those with a blood right to exclusively harvest muttonbirds, are on or on their way to over 25 islands around Stewart Island. However the early signs are that this is not going to be a good season.

It is nature - and it happens at least once a decade. And the fluctuations are well recorded.

The crook seasons are cyclical
as we have blogged before. Our family has a policy of not harvesting muttonbirds if the season is not looking good. I suppose some would call that conservation - we just call it common sense.

Some birders will go to the island's to check on their properties and make any repairs others will stay away . They only good thing is that a bad season with low numbers of chicks or chicks in poor conditions is always a precursor to a bloody good season. So if the early information is correct then next year will produce a bumper crop.

And while we may not go to our island this year our favourite Hooker Sealions will have the island all to themselves.

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