Golden Bay

Historical analyses of coastal marine sediments reveal land-based impacts on the benthos

We document from a sediment core collected at 23 m water depth offshore of Separation Point on the northern coast of Aotearoa New Zealand’s South Island, 3000 years of natural and human-induced change to undisturbed offshore sediments that are protected from contact fishing methods. Multivariate analysis of sediment characteristics and sources of primary productivity successfully differentiated the pre-human (< 1500 AD), Māori, and European periods (> 1850).