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.

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.

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.
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!

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.

Havelock Mussel Festival

20 March 2010

Year after year the Havelock Mussel Festival is a huge success, drawing crowds of up to 6000 people.
In 2009 there were a record number of 70 stalls which offered food, wine and beer, crafts and industry displays. This was in conjunction with top kiwi entertainment, lots of fun activities - it really is the festival that brings the whole community together.
In 2010 NIWA will again be taking a Gold Sponsorship of the event, sponsoring the The NIWA Kidzone.

New Zealand’s iconic whitebait species are disappearing from our waterways, but help could soon be at hand for the threatened giant kōkopu.

The giant kōkopu is a native whitebait species considered rare and vulnerable. NIWA is working with Mahurangi Technical Institute and environmental consultancy Boffa Miskell to test the feasibility of reintroducing giant kōkopu to Nukumea Stream, north of Auckland.

Researchers at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) have contributed their findings to a major news release by the Census of Marine Life charting an astonishing abundance, diversity, and distribution of deep-sea species.

Scientists from the UK, Japan and New Zealand have successfully photographed the deepest fish in the southern hemisphere at 7561 metres deep in the Kermadec Trench, just northeast of New Zealand.

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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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