A proposal to protect at least 20 per cent of the 1.2 million hectare Hauraki Gulf Marine Park has sparked debate from all sides. In a two-part series Michael Neilson takes a look at worrying state of Auckland's big blue backyard, and plans to restore it. Today: The state of the gulf.

Moana Tamaariki-Pohe fondly recalls collecting pipi and tuangi (cockles) off the shore at Okahu Bay as a child during the 1970s and, with friends and family, cooking them up on the beach.

She remembers paddling out into the bay, and fishing for flounder.

Her father, the late Tamaiti


Declining fish stocks

Impacts from humans mounting

Sedimentation adding to gulf woes