Decades of depletion of toheroa beds have left the shellfish struggling to recover. Dr Phil Ross, is a marine ecologist at the University of Waikato, based in Tauranga. His research focuses on why Toheroa has had an abundant past but faces a lean future. Dr Ross says from a science perspective it is a great mystery. Toheroa have been protected for almost 40 years, and no one knows why they haven’t recovered. Toheroa featured in Justin Tamihana’s childhood kai. He’s Kaitiaki from Ngati Raukawa and has the lowdown on the depleted Horowhenua coast’s toheroa beds.