New hāpuku spawning season begins

Spring is upon us and NIWA’s stock of 86 spawning hāpuku broodstock have emerged from the winter to begin spawning. This is the sixth year we’re spawning from wild-caught broodstock to develop hāpuka as a new high-value aquaculture species.

These large broodstock are held at NIWA’s Bream Bay Aquaculture Park in Northland in purpose-built spawning tanks under full environment control.

“The fish start spawning with a few batches once or twice a week,” says Dr Michael Bruce, leader of NIWA’s High Value Aquaculture Species Programme. “The frequency and size of batches will increase right through September to peak in October.”

For the Aquaculture & Biotechnology Centre this is an extremely busy time of year, with a packed schedule of trials to make the most of the seasonal availability of experimental material.

“All our egg collection, incubation, live feed and larval rearing systems are prepped and ready to go,” says Dr Seumas Walker, who manages hāpuku production at Bream Bay. “If all goes to plan we will have hapuku fingerlings ready for on-growing in late January.”

Our captive-reared hāpuku have already made an impression with top chefs at tastings in Sydney and Wellington. Follow the links below for more information.

Contact: Dr Michael Bruce

What is hāpuku and how are we developing it?

High Value Aquaculture Species programme

Broodstock selection programme

Farmed hāpuku a sizzling success with top seafood connoisseurs

Fine dining on hāpuku