Fish

Latest news

Contraptions that resemble upside-down kitchen sinks have been placed in the Waikawa River in Southland to attract a notoriously elusive native fish species.
Under the light of the moon where the river meets the sea, NIWA researchers are planning to catch tiny fish that are all but invisible to the naked eye.
NIWA freshwater scientists are pinning their hopes of solving an age-old mystery on 10 female longfin eels who are about to begin an epic journey to their spawning grounds somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.
In a secret training location on the outskirts of Hamilton, a squad of whitebait is being put through its paces by fish scientists.

Our work

NIWA is looking for people who have had a long association with the Hauraki Gulf or Marlborough Sounds to help them with a research project on juvenile fish habitats.
NIWA is supporting the advancement of the New Zealand aquaculture sector through the development of high value products of verifiable quality and sustainability.
The New Zealand Fish Passage Guidelines sets out recommended practice for the design of instream infrastructure to provide for fish passage.

Māori communities around the country note that the abundance, size and/or distribution of tuna, kōura and kāeo/kākahi is declining and that current populations aren’t sufficient to meet their needs.

Latest videos

Freshwater fish swim their all for science
The tiny inanga have been plucked from Waikato streams and held in a darkened laboratory for the last month, undertaking highly advanced testing to find the strongest, fittest and fastest fish.
Ocean acidification - what is it?

The on-going rise of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere is not only changing our climate—it is also changing our oceans. Take a look at the work of the NIWA-led CARIM project into what these changes may mean for the delicate balance of marine life.

Exploring the deepsea

Despite many centuries of maritime exploration, only a fraction of our planet's seafloor has been observed. NIWA Deepsea Scientist Di Tracey tells us what it feels like to probe deep beneath the waves to see what's living on the ocean floor.

Mesopelagic trawl from the RV Tangaroa October 2016 Kermadec Voyage
Using a very wide net to complete a 960m deep mesopelagic trawl near the Kermadec Islands has brought up a large number and diverse range of deep water species.
When NIWA fisheries scientist Richard O’Driscoll went to sea earlier this year, he and his team measured so many fish that laid end to end, they would have stretched for 31km.
At a laboratory just outside Whangarei, scientists are putting very young snapper through comprehensive physical testing - including a full medical check-up involving smell, hearing, vision, and even anxiety testing.
NIWA research ship Tangaroa has been chartered by the Ministry of Primary Industries to survey the Hoki fishery on the Chatham Rise during January and early February 2018.
“You almost become a fishing psychologist – you can tell by the way people walk up the ramp to get their trailer if they’ve had a good day.”
Rapid warming of the ocean near Tasmania may provide a good indication of how the water around New Zealand will change as the planet warms, say NIWA scientists.

New science on inanga

The inward migrations of inanga (Galaxias maculatus) post-larvae back to freshwaters occur primarily in late winter and spring time where they are targeted as part of the whitebait fishery. In this study, we shed light on the relationships between growth attained in pelagic and freshwater environments.
Approximately 500 Aquatic invertebrate taxa are described in this database, made available to assist with the identification of specimens.
The spread of Bonamia ostreae from Marlborough Sounds to oyster farms in Big Glory Bay (Stewart Island) could spread to the valuable wild oyster population.
The Ross Sea Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the Southern Ocean will help further research into the ecology of Antarctic toothfish.
Twelve bespoke concrete structures resembling "upside down oven trays" may hold the key to restoring the paua population off Kaikoura wiped out by last November's earthquake.
Local hapū and NIWA are working together to find out more about juvenile freshwater eels or tuna in streams connecting to the Wairua River in the Wairoa catchment in Northland.
NIWA is today issuing some scientific information on the parasite Bonamia ostreae, recently discovered in Big Glory Bay, Stewart Island, and the risk it poses to the Bluff oyster fishery.

As New Zealand's "Mr Eel", Niwa's Dr Don Jellyman has heard every tall tale. And some of them may be true.

The role of toothfish in the ecosystem.

Inputs into stock assessment

Scientists from around the globe are meeting in Nelson next week to discuss the latest advances in fisheries technology.

Boaties in Tasman and Golden Bays are likely to notice a larger than usual vessel working close to shore over the next few days.

The effects of climate change on fish are being studied in a world-first trial at NIWA’s Bream Bay marine science centre.
A voyage to the Kermadec Islands has resulted in the discovery of many species either new to science or not previously found in the area.
Exploring the deepsea

Despite many centuries of maritime exploration, only a fraction of our planet's seafloor has been observed. NIWA Deepsea Scientist Di Tracey tells us what it feels like to probe deep beneath the waves to see what's living on the ocean floor.

Māori communities around the country note that the abundance, size and/or distribution of tuna, kōura and kāeo/kākahi is declining and that current populations aren’t sufficient to meet their needs.

NIWA scientists are asking for help from people who have had a long association with East Northland, Hauraki Gulf or Marlborough Sounds.
NIWA is looking for people who have had a long association with the Hauraki Gulf or Marlborough Sounds to help them with a research project on juvenile fish habitats.
Over the last few days the “dive team” have been recording corals, fishes, urchins and other invertebrates from the shallow waters (0-30m) surrounding Raoul Island to complement the biodiversity records from the deeper ocean collected by the other scientists onboard.
Mesopelagic trawl from the RV Tangaroa October 2016 Kermadec Voyage
Using a very wide net to complete a 960m deep mesopelagic trawl near the Kermadec Islands has brought up a large number and diverse range of deep water species.

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All staff working on this subject

Hydro-ecological Modeller
Principal Scientist - Fisheries
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Population Modeller
Principal Scientist - Fisheries
Assistant Regional Manager - Christchurch
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Fisheries Acoustics Scientist
Principal Scientist - Fisheries
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Freshwater Fisheries Ecologist
Principal Scientist - Fisheries
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Principal Technician - Fisheries
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Freshwater Fish Ecologist
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Fisheries Scientist
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Marine Ecology Technician
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Principal Technician - Fisheries
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Environmental Scientist
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