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Working together to look after our oceans

Working together to look after our oceans

By Sam McNamara
Wed, 8 Jun 2016

My name is Sam and I live by the Kaipara Harbour.

I started fishing off the wharf about two years ago. Fishing is fun, especially if friends are fishing on the wharf with us. My grandad passed away but had left me his special rod. So we take grandad's rod with us fishing.

Sam in his spot fishing on the wharf.

Sam in his spot fishing on the wharf.

Photo: Kim McNamara.

Sometimes we pick rubbish up on the wharf. We go to the beach at low tide and pick up the rubbish in the mangroves. We pick up lots of cans, glass bottles, plastic bags, hooks, fishing line and bait packets.

The plastic bags can kill the whales and many other fish that live in the sea. That makes me sad.

I have caught lots of things from the wharf. School sharks, hammerhead shark, bronze whaler shark, baby snapper (they have to go back in the water), kahawai, serpent eels, sprats and I caught a rare Southeast Asian mantis shrimp. The mantis shrimp went to the Museum and was used for research. I caught that on my grandad’s special rod.

The Southeast Asian mantis shrimp (\u003cem\u003eOratosquilla oratorio\u003c/em\u003e) Sam caught on his first time fishing, using his grandad\u0027s rod for the very first time.

The Southeast Asian mantis shrimp (Oratosquilla oratorio) Sam caught on his first time fishing, using his grandad's rod for the very first time.

Auckland War Memorial Museum – Tāmaki Paenga Hira.

I have started writing books about the things I like. There is the NIWA book, the Mantis Shrimp book, and the Mangrove book.

Pages from the NIWA book.

Pages from the NIWA book.

My mum works for NIWA and sometimes I go to the beach with her. We explore the beach and find lots of weird things. We clean up the beach too. It is very important to look after our beaches because fish and sea life are getting killed by the pollution. It is sad to see turtles with plastic around them, and whales with lots of plastic in their tummies and digestive system. We see these things on TV.

Everyone has to work together. People need to take their rubbish to the right place. And the baby snappers need to go back in the water so we can always have fish.

I sent my NIWA book to the Prime Minister so he could see some of the things we were doing. He sent me a letter back and was very happy with us caring about the environment so much.

Sam being interviewed by Graeme Sinclair from \u003cem\u003eGone Fishing\u003c/em\u003e about his Mantis Shrimp book.

Sam being interviewed by Graeme Sinclair from Gone Fishing about his Mantis Shrimp book.

Photo: Kim McNamara.

One day a few weeks ago at Shelly Beach, Graeme Sinclair from the TV program Gone Fishing was at the beach, he had been fishing with my friends on the research boat. I went to say hello to them when they came back to the carpark. I gave him a copy of my books I wrote. He thought they were really good and interviewed me and I was on TV on his program. That was exciting. He was proud of the work we were doing and the things we were getting up to.

I think everyone needs to work together to look after our oceans.

  • Post by: Sam McNamara

    Sam is an 8-year-old Kaipara Harbour resident with a love for fishing, marine life, and looking after our beaches. His first catch, a Southeast Asian mantis shrimp, was added to the Auckland Museum collection. Sam writes about his adventures in his Fishing and Nature blog.