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Connect with marine reserve experts

<- Homepage: Marine Reserves: Exploring Kapiti

Experts and web conferences

Replay web conferences

The following questions from schools are answered by Ben in web conference 1:

  1. Is Kapiti Island like the mainland used to be, in terms of birds and animals?
  2. When and where was NZ's first Marine Reserve established?
  3. How many species of animals are there on the island ?
  4. How many species of endangered birds are there?
  5. Do they ship fish into the marine reserve or do you attract them in another way?
  6. Where is the safest place for birds to go?
  7. Why do you have more fish than at Tapu Te Range?
  8. Are there other species like sharks in a reserve or do you protect them?
  9. What is the view like from the hutt?
  10. How do animals eat a range of foods when they live on an island?
  11. How big are the great whites??
  12. Is it rare to see dolphins?
  13. Are there native snails on Kapiti Island?
  14. So Kapiti has operators who are doing eco-tourism sustainably?

CORE Education · LEARNZ Marine Reserves Kapiti Podcast 1 of 3

The following questions from schools are answered by Ben in web conference 2:

  1. What is citizen science?
  2. If we see someone breaking the rules of a Marine Reserve, what should we do?
  3. Can we as kids make a real difference when commercial fishing has such an impact and also other countries aren’t as careful with plastic as we are in nz
  4. HHow long do whales usually live for? Are there any around Kāpiti?
  5. When did the Kāpiti marine reserve open?
  6. What is the rarest fish found so far at Kāpiti?
  7. Is the habitat of Kāpiti Marine Reserve typical of most of the rest of NZ?

CORE Education · LEARNZ Marine Reserves Kapiti Podcast 2 of 3

The following questions from schools are answered by Ben in web conference 3:

  1. How is it decided where a marine reserve goes?
  2. Who is responsible for ensuring marine reserves are kept safe?
  3. Can people fish and do recreational activities in the marine reserve?
  4. Are there any special rules people need to follow at the marine reserve?
  5. How do fish know where the marine reserve is?
  6. What defence mechanisms do fish in the reserve have?
  7. How deep is the reserve?
  8. How many endangered species of fish are there in the reserve?
  9. What is the most dangerous species in the reserve?
  10. What is the water temperature like around the island and does this influence what type of fish are found there?

CORE Education · LEARNZ Marine Reserves Kapiti Podcast 3 of 3

Meet the experts

Meet Ben from Sustainable Coastlines

Ben Knight

Ben is Programmes Coordinator at Sustainable Coastlines.

I’ve been working for Sustainable Coastlines since April last year, primarily as part of a team that are developing and rolling out a nationwide citizen science-based beach litter research and monitoring project.

I’ve been involved in the recreational diving business for most of my working life as a professional diving instructor, dive boat skipper and dive business owner. More recently I’ve been working for Experiencing Marine Reserves as a programmes coordinator and snorkel leader.

My favourite part of the job is getting out into the field and working with other amazing people to help keep our coastlines and beaches beautiful.

I am currently working on a new nationwide, 3-year citizen science-based beach litter research and monitoring programme called The Litter Project.

Last weekend we worked with an amazing group of people from Weta Digital in Wellington to clean up an area of the beautiful Wellington harbor coastline. We managed to remove over 5 cubic metres of rubbish from this stretch of coastline in a couple of hours! And we got to meet the Places for Penguins team who were out monitoring nesting boxes – they were super stoked to see us removing all that rubbish from this stretch of coastline that the local Little Blue Penguins call home.

My qualifications are BA (Hons) Anthropology, SSI Scuba Diving Instructor.

I have interests outside work such as I’m the chair and a founding member of the Guardians of Kāpiti Marine Reserve Trust and play an active role in the management of the reserve. A recent project involved setting up a remote webcam for monitoring the marine reserve. I’ve also been working for NIWA conducting a recreational fishing survey with local fishers. I enjoy getting out on my boat with friends and family and do quite a bit of exploration diving, underwater videography and enjoy freediving and spearfishing too. I have an 11-year-old daughter who often tags along on our adventures and who I also enjoy spending time with at the beach, swimming, surfing and walking our mini poodle called Princess.