The people's PAUA mission: Emotional Christchurch man rallies troops to save thousands of stranded shellfish near Kaikoura

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A Christchurch man is on a mission to save paua on the shores of Kaikoura after Monday's 7.5 magnitude earthquake left them high and dry.

Mike Vincent, who's been holidaying in Kaikoura every year since he was 14, is rallying people to help him shift the paua out to sea.

"Hello fellow lovers of our beautiful Kaikoura coast, we are putting together a keen group of people with safety being the first priority to save a resource," he wrote on Facebook, calling on people to join a mission from Ohau Point to Ward for the paua recovery.

Mike Vincent said words can't describe the feeling of saving the shellfish, after describing the area as "a carpet of paua".
Source: 1 NEWS

"We need to access high tide mark during a king tide to remove paua and put back in new low tide zone, we need to act now and fast, please share and the more people the better the result."

Paua drying up in Kaikoura

Paua drying up in Kaikoura

Source: Facebook: Mike Vincent

The quake has altered the seabed, leaving the low tide mark an estimated 70 metres off where it was, pushing sealife out of the water.

Standing on the shore, Mike Vincent told 1 NEWS "right now in my plain sight is at least 3000-4000 paua".

He's been holidaying in Kaikoura since he was a teenager and now with kids of his own, the tradition lives on.

"It's my second home here aye… until you're here and you experience it, you just don't know how special it is," he said.

"It's just a feeling… coming into the area it's like peace comes over ya."

So armed with supplies, including buckets and food, Mr Vincent is moving paua back to the sea.

Mike Vincent and a group of helpers keeping paua alive before they can be shifted back to the sea.

Source: Facebook: Mike Vincent

Stationed in Goose Bay they are tackling one area at a time.

"There's about 15 of us at the moment, and the numbers are growing."

Mr Vincent says they've called the Ministry for Primary Industries, who he says don't want to help.

IT COULD BE A BIGGER THING

So he's calling on the public for more hands on deck.

"It's a small thing right now, but with more people it could be a bigger thing.

Paua exposed on coast of Kaikoura

Paua exposed on coast of Kaikoura

Source: Facebook: Mike Vincent

"We're going to be here for three to five days… some of the guys have taken time off work."

Mr Vincent says people can get through the road closures, if they say they're part of the team.

As people come through though, there's people on guard to stop looting.

"We just want to save the industry here."

With ongoing aftershocks Mr Vincent says "there's danger to what we're doing, we know that".

But, "human nature is that we like to support the things we love".

That's exactly what he’s doing.

There is more information on Mr Vincent's Facebook page.

Jeff Reardon says he wants to send people away with a full belly and some good memories.
Source: 1 NEWS

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