Fishing was an important factor in the development of the Island Bay community. In the early 1900s Shetland Islanders, no strangers to rough seas and harsh weather conditions, arrived in Wellington. Island Bay, close to the fishing grounds in the Cook Strait, was a good base for the Shetlanders who took up fishing. Many immigrants from southern Italy had settled here too, and also fished from Island Bay. There are a number of Island Bay fishing families - generations have been involved. People recall how you used to be able to get fresh fish on the beach when the fishing boats returned with their catch.
So there was quite a lot of debate about establishing a marine reserve in this area and concern about the impact on the fisher people. No fish are to be taken from the reserve. But we still see the fishing boats come in, the seagulls wheeling above them. How can this be?
At sunset, with the South Island (Te Waipounamu) in silhouette, a fishing boat returns past an arm of Taputeranga and some rocky outcrops into the shelter of Island Bay.
When the Taputeranga Marine Reserve was established, provision was made for the existing moorings in Island Bay to remain. So the fishing boats are able to travel out beyond the marine reserve boundaries, but return to the shelter of the island Taputeranga for mooring. And the Island Bay connection to the sea is enhanced by the increasing richness of the sea life protected by the reserve. It's all good!