Fisheries news

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

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NIWA scientists have discovered that nearly all snapper on the west coast of the North Island come from nurseries in just one harbour.

Snapper is New Zealand’s largest recreational fishery, and one of the country’s largest coastal commercial fisheries with an annual export value of $32 million (2008).

But in recent years some stocks have failed to recover from historical overfishing, with some commercial catch quotas for snapper being cut recently to protect the species.

Bigger, better, Bluff oysters look set to be on the menu when the 2009 oyster season opens on Sunday.

NIWA fisheries scientist Dr Malcolm Francis has been awarded the prestigious New Zealand Marine Sciences Society Award for his “continued outstanding contribution to marine science in New Zealand.”

NIWA fisheries scientists will survey blue cod in the Marlborough Sounds and Tasman and Golden Bays during September and October, starting on 5 September.

NIWA will begin tagging around 4000 snapper in the inner Hauraki Gulf next week as part of a major study of snapper movements.

Scientists from NIWA have developed the first fisheries assessment for Antarctic toothfish, and the first for any exploratory Antarctic fishery. The 2005–06 quota for the Ross Sea Antarctic toothfish fishery, which opened on 1 December, has taken account of this new assessment.

For a group of fisheries scientists in Wellington, the next three years will be dominated by fish guts.

In a ground-floor lab at the National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA), they're painstakingly slitting open the stomachs of thousands of fish and sifting through the contents.

All up, some 50,000 stomachs from about three dozen species caught on the Chatham Rise will be analysed by the end of 2007.

NIWA and the Orange Roughy Management Company (ORMC) have just successfully completed their survey of the numbers of orange roughy on the eastern Chatham Rise.

Forty years ago anglers in New Zealand were actively encouraged to ‘kill eels on sight’. Although the attitude towards eels has changed significantly since then, it has not stopped our native longfinned eel stocks declining, mirroring the global downward trend in freshwater eel recruitment.

A new programme underway at NIWA is researching the potential for byproducts and bycatch from the fishing industry, which are currently discarded or used for low-value products such as fishmeal, to be used in the production of skin-care products.

A technique that collects chemical ‘fingerprints’ from the ear bones of fish to help scientists identify which estuaries they originated from could have important implications for the management of New Zealand’s local fisheries, said an article in the latest issue of Fisheries & Aquaculture Update, published by NIWA’s National Centre for Fisheries and Aquaculture.

During the first week of March NIWA will be conducting experimental work to assess survivorship amongst snapper tagged with its newly developed electronic tag. Snapper will be caught using commercial trawl and long-line vessels from waters close to Kawau Island. The snapper will then be tagged, placed into a large sea cage and monitored for two weeks.

The lace coral beds on the seafloor at Separation Point in Golden Bay–Tasman Bay are thriving – and commercial fishers can take much of the credit.

It looks like the long wait for toheroa may continue for some time yet.

A group of Maori students from the Wellington region will set sail from Queen’s Wharf today to get a taste of life as marine scientists.

If you hook yourself a tagged blue cod, NIWA would like to hear from you.

New tags that are attached by a tough nylon thread could finally solve the mystery of where New Zealand‘s freshwater eels spawn.

The same technique used to create the frighteningly life-like dinosaurs in the BBC documentary 'Walking with Dinosaurs' is now being used to help monitor New Zealand’s fish populations.

Tangaroa on station for new millenium dawn

An agreement in principle has been reached for the sale of the Glenariffe Salmon Hatchery currently owned by NIWA, to Rakaia Salmon Limited. The new company wishes to raise salmon for the market by using the hatchery raceways. Initial concerns by environmental groups over potential capture of young salmon for the farm from the Rakaia River will not be an issue.

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