NZ earthquake: Baby paua suffering terrible deaths in sun

The stranded paua (Newshub.)
The stranded paua (Newshub.)

It's not just the thousands of exposed adult paua that are a high concern in Kaikoura - young paua are also dying by the hour.

The paua have now been exposed out of water for more than two days after the seabed was lifted nearly two metres out of the water by Monday's 7.5 earthquake.

Paua Industry Council's Storm Stanley says there's a lot of worry for the tens of thousands of adult paua but people forget about the babies.

"What you won't see are the smaller paua that live under rocks. They live under rocks until they're about 16, 17 millimetres long before they come out again," he says.

"The local divers have had offers of help, and they're going back down to shift some more paua back in, but it'll be getting a bit late now."

Mr Stanley says they're trying their best to get some of the paua back into the water, but it's clear most of them will meet a devastating fate.

"Every hour that goes past they're going to get drier and drier and have less chance of surviving," he says.

"We're hoping to get as many as we can to the water but it's an enormous stretch of coast line, and an enormous amount of pauas. The scale of it is beyond us being able to do anything but the best we can."

Newshub.