Fisheries news

News and media releases related to the our fisheries-related work.

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During late March and April, NIWA fisheries scientists will be tagging hundreds of juvenile tarakihi in Tasman and Golden Bays, in an effort to learn more about their nursery habits and habitat.

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.

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.

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.

A feeding frenzy of cusk-eels where nothing was previously thought to live, an entirely new species of deep-sea fish, and large crustacean scavengers, are among the highlights of a recent research expedition that is shedding new light on the ecology of deepest places on Earth.

The recreational scallop season opens today for the Auckland and Kermadec Fishery Management Area, and NIWA scientists are calling for help from scallop fishers to return tagged scallops.

NIWA scientists have captured never seen before footage of schools of orange roughy swimming above a seamount nearly a kilometre below the ocean surface.

Moored video cameras were used to film the orange roughy swimming above a seamount called “Morgue”, located on the northern Chatham Rise, about 500 kilometres east of New Zealand. The seamount rises from a depth of 1250 metres to a peak of 890 metres.

“Morgue” is one of 19 seamounts around New Zealand which were closed to all fishing in May 2001 under a Seamounts Management Strategy.

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.

What is known about life in the ocean? Even though it’s the biggest habitat on the planet, most of the ocean remains unexplored biologically. So what do we know? And how does New Zealand’s biodiversity compare with the rest of the world?

A New Zealand sponge has been selected for the prestigious international Top 10 species of the year. Each year, an international Top 10 New Species selection committee selects the 10 most notable new species described from around the world.

Scientists are using centuries-old whalers' data from the southwestern Pacific & Tasman Sea to help better protect threatened whale species.

NIWA's Chief Executive John Morgan, welcomes plans for the aquaculture industry regulatory reform announced by Phil Heatley, the Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture. Cabinet has agreed to a range of amendments that will help boost the sector's potential to generate sustainable economic growth for the industry in New Zealand.

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.

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.

A carnivorous sponge with ‘lip-shaped’ spicules has been identified from the dark depths of the ocean.

NIWA scientists are in the pink! They’re studying the deep candy pink or purple coralline algae, abundant around the New Zealand shoreline and throughout the world, which play a vital role in marine ecosystems.

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

NIWA's research vessel Tangaroa has successfully completed its first voyage since its recent $20 million dollar upgrade, surveying for hoki and other commercially important species on the Chatham Rise.


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