The goal of Ocean Cultures was to integrate modern data and indigenous knowledge as a new platform for community-led monitoring of marine microbial ecosystems in Aotearoa (New Zealand).
Like many indigenous groups, the Māori of Aotearoa (New Zealand) have a long and deep connection to their marine ecosystems, with rich culture and communal practices on responsible management of their waters. With culturally relevant fish stocks now threatened due to overfishing and ecological changes, increasing tools for communities to use for marine monitoring could help indigenous communities with local management of their waters. Ocean Cultures focused on co-developing and implementing sensing systems within the Horokaka and Toka Tāmure Mataitai, protected areas of ocean on the Mahia Peninsula where Maori locals manage all non-commercial fishing.
Team: Devora Najjar, Avery Normandin
Funded by: Open Ocean, MIT PKG Center, and National Geographic Society
2021 status: Continuing as part of Devora Najjar’s doctoral research