Fish

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As a young child growing up on an Irish farm, one of Eimear Egan’s chores was to regularly clean out the well from where her family drew its drinking water. In the well lived a large eel that, no matter how many times it was shifted, just kept coming back.
Based at Bream Bay, Whangarei, Crispin Middleton is also an acclaimed underwater photographer and the recipient of numerous photography awards. His work regularly appears in New Zealand Geographic, dive magazines, scientific journals and conservation/ government documents.
NIWA researchers are out on the Hauraki Gulf this week to find out more about the nurseries of young snapper.
Humans don't always make it easy on fish to get where they are going. New Zealand's first national set of Fish Passage Guidelines – co-developed by NIWA - is expected to help.

Our work

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.

NIWA is in its third year of a 5-year phased project on the deepwater line fishery in Tonga funded by the NZ Aid Programme’s Partnership for International Development Fund. The aim of the project is to deliver the improved governance, management, and economic and biological sustainability of the fishery focusing on deepwater snapper and bluenose in the Tonga EEZ.
The kōaro was once abundant in the Te Arawa lakes near Rotorua in New Zealand’s North Island. NIWA has assessed the viability of restoring this species in the region.

Latest videos

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.
Taking the pulse of Antarctica’s ocean ecosystem
Niwa scientists have anchored an echosounder to the sea floor of Terra Nova Bay that could reveal the mystery of silverfish reproduction under the Antarctic ice.
A Different Kettle of Fish
Take a look inside NIWA's Bream Bay aquaculture facility - the species, the science and the future of New Zealand's aquaculture industry.

Some fish may still be scarce or absent even though recruitment is occurring, habitat is present and there is no recent history of pollution or floods.

If you suspect overfishing is reducing fish numbers, contact DOC or Fish & Game.

 

A problem with recruitment is usually indicated by the absence, or very low density, of fish where they would normally be present.

The environmental effects of developing land and water for human use have decimated New Zealand's native fish fauna, but we now have the knowledge to reverse this trend and restore native fish in streams. 

Welcome to NIWA's third Alumni Update – an e-newsletter for past NIWA employees.

If the low abundance of fish in your stream is not related to a reduction in habitat, waterquality, flow or the presence of downstream barriers, it might be due to the inability of juvenile fish to enter the stream.

The movements of many juvenile native fish are often hindered by barriers to fish passage such as dams, weirs, falls, tide gates, culverts, screens and high water velocities. The New Zealand Fish Passage Guidelines sets out recommended practice for the design of instream infrastructure to provide for fish passage.

NIWA studies reveal that different movement and behaviours exist within snapper stock – some snapper stay at home, while some range for hundreds of kilometres. Our studies also show that marine reserves may well be affecting the behaviour of fish that inhabit them.

Seagrass meadows – vital nursery grounds for young fish – are vanishing at an alarming rate worldwide.

Over the long hot summer many kiwis will be digging deep in the sand for pipi. These yummy shellfish live buried in the sand and are free at the beach! 

A shy, slimy, ancient fish, that looks like an eel but isn't. It has a circular sucker for a mouth, and feeds by rasping a hole in its victim's fishy-flesh.

Kahawai are an iconic species for recreational fishers. They are fantastic fighters and are found in most coastal waters, harbours, and estuaries around New Zealand, in both the North Island and South Island.

Lurking in the depths of freshwater waterways, all around New Zealand, longfin eels are the most common fish in our rivers. The native longfin eel, at up to 1.6 metres in length, is something to be in awe of, especially when there's a crowd of them – and they aren't the most attractive thing you've ever seen.

The return of the upgraded RV Tangaroa represents a huge advancement for New Zealand science and exploration

NIWA today welcomed home RV Tangaroa, New Zealand’s only deepwater research vessel, after a $20 million dollar upgrade to enhance its ocean science and survey capabilities.

Welcome to NIWA's second Alumni Update – an e-newsletter for past NIWA employees.

NIWA looked deep – to almost 1840 metres – and found new-to-science fish, close to the seafloor. The ocean revealed specimens of some rarely seen, and some previously unknown, fishes from New Zealand waters.

The tools available for restoring native fish to streams depend on what is causing fish to decline.

See the "Identifying the Problem" section

A decision support system (DSS) for the main fish species found in New Zealand streams shows which of the restoration options below is likely to help restore the species in your stream.

See the decision support system (DSS)

Identifying the factors causing fish numbers to drop will allow you to determine which restoration tools you need to employ.

This programme runs until 2013. To date, we've achieved many key milestones towards developing elite kingfish, hāpuku, and pāua broodstock for the future aquaculture industry. These are summarised below.

The High Value Aquaculture Programme has made great progress on a number of fronts. Here, we summarise highlights for all four species: kingfish, hapuku, paua, and salmon.

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All staff working on this subject

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Hydro-ecological Modeller
Phone: +64-3-343-7848
Principal Scientist - Fisheries
Phone: +64-4-386-0523
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Fisheries Modeller
Phone: +64-4-386-0522
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Fisheries Scientist
Phone: +64-4-382-1610
Principal Scientist - Fisheries
Phone: +64-4-386-0377
Freshwater Ecologist
Phone: +64-7-859-1882
Marine Ecologist
Phone: +64-4-386-0516
Assistant Regional Manager - Christchurch
Phone: +64-3-343-8052
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Fisheries Acoustics Scientist
Phone: +64-4-386-0906
Principal Scientist - Fisheries
Phone: +64-4-386-0876
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Marine Ecologist
Phone: +64-9-375-4531
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Aquaculture Scientist
Phone: +64-9-432-5509
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Marine Ecologist
Phone: +64-7-859-1881
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Freshwater Fisheries Ecologist
Phone: +64-3-343-7832
Principal Scientist - Fisheries
Phone: +64-9-375-4505
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