BML - Kura Paul-Burke: "Using traditional Māori knowledge and materials to assist shellfish restoration and reduce microplastic pollution in Ōhiwa harbour, Aotearoa New Zealand."
From Noah Killeen
Kura Paul-Burke (Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Whakahemo) is a Māori marine ecologist and transdisciplinary researcher at the University of Waikato, Aotearoa New Zealand. She is also a tribal marine researcher and project leader for Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge with extensive pragmatic experience combining traditional Māori knowledge with Western science to assist kaitiakitanga (restoration, monitoring, management) priorities of coastal Māori entities. Her research used Māori knowledge and materials to develop and implement biodegradable tools to assist shellfish restoration and reduce microplastic pollution in the culturally important mahinga kai (traditional food gathering area) of Ōhiwa harbour, Aotearoa New Zealand.
The Indigenous community-driven scholarship was considered not only fundamental to the collaborative co-development of the restoration project but also in providing space for traditional knowledge, materials and voices of Māori and their roles as kaitiaki (guardians) for the once abundant but now severely reduced shellfish reefs in the soft-bottom harbour. This presentation provides an overview of shellfish restoration using co-developed place-based intergenerational knowledge to establish a harbour wide approach to assist restoration understandings and practical management of shellfish populations and traditional food gathering areas, for present and future generations.