Fish

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.

NIWA has recently tested our cultured hapuku on a selection of high profile chefs as part of our development of new high value species for the New Zealand aquaculture industry. The fish was highly praised for its taste and versatility of use and shows potential to grace fine dining establishments in North America, Europe and Asia.

‘Whitebait’ tagged as part of a unique experiment have turned up. Earlier this year the giant kōkopu released into the Nukumea Stream in Orewa had disappeared, but when scientists returned in June the fish were back!

Scientists returned to the Nukumea Stream in Orewa in June, to investigate the trial release of giant kōkopu and found that they were back!

The scallop season opens today for most of New Zealand, except for Coromandel, Bay of Plenty and Northland where the season starts on 1 September, and NIWA scientists are calling for help from scallop fishers to return tagged scallops.

A mysterious fish ‘language’ is being uncovered at a New Zealand marine reserve, leading to startling hypotheses about fish communication.
NZ Marine Sciences Society conference on the latest in marine research.

Snapper are New Zealand’s most prized fish; they are the fish fishermen love-to-love. They live in a wide range of habitats in New Zealand’s warmer coastal waters, around the North Island and the top of the South, and prefer depths of 5–60 metres. They grow to a decent size: up to 105 cm in length.

This summer, watch out when snorkelling around the New Zealand coastline, for our very own sea monster: Hippocampus abdominalis, the pot-bellied sea horse.

Scientists returned to the Nukumea Stream in Orewa last week, to investigate the trial release of giant kōkopu. This is the first controlled trial in New Zealand to test whether the native fish, giant kōkopu, can be successfully stocked into a stream.

Last week NIWA scientists carried out electric fishing and night time spotlight surveys, in the stream; capturing and measuring the fish and recording the locations that they were found in.

NIWA and the Bluff Oyster Management Company have just completed a pre-season survey of the oyster beds in Foveaux Strait.

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