A marine scientist from the University of Otago has been given $180,000 for a placement within Ngai Tahu to conduct surveys of marine species in customary protection areas.
The partnership between the organisations has been developed through research programme Te Tiaki Mahinga Kai.
Peri Subritzky will travel around the country undertaking stock assessments for key marine species such as paua, kina, eels and crayfish.
Mr Subritzky said a simplified surveying regime will be developed for tangata whenua so they can assess trends in fish stocks in the long term. Scientific data collected will help with applications for its management to local and central government.
The scientist said with tangata whenua coming into possession of areas of coastline to manage, the level of scientific backing to support them is not really there.
However, baseline surveys he is conducting will give them useful information about fish stock levels, he said.