Kaikoura’s coastal sea bounty
thrived with large juicy paua*,
crayfish, on the shallow seabed
replenishing themselves to the
joy of local restaurants and diners.
Whales in the nearby chasm
mingled with smaller fish from
shallower seas round about.
Until this under water terrain was
heaved high in the air by the earth’s
crust’s powerful jolts breaking
up land and seabed alike.
As tremors weakened two days
later local divers stared in
shock at the rocky shore now
high in the air, swathed in kelp.
“Never thought I’ld need a ladder
to collect paua,” muttered one to
his mates. “We have to act now
or we’ll have no more.”
Back home mates phoned mates,
gathered buckets and ladders
then returned to rescue the paua.
They filled their buckets, climbed
over rocks to the water’s edge,
tipped their earthquake victims
into the sea, repeating the trek
many times each very hot day.
No illegal catch above quota
was taken for fisheries
inspectors watched closely
*paua – New Zealand abalone.