Fish

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As a young child growing up on an Irish farm, one of Eimear Egan’s chores was to regularly clean out the well from where her family drew its drinking water. In the well lived a large eel that, no matter how many times it was shifted, just kept coming back.
Based at Bream Bay, Whangarei, Crispin Middleton is also an acclaimed underwater photographer and the recipient of numerous photography awards. His work regularly appears in New Zealand Geographic, dive magazines, scientific journals and conservation/ government documents.
NIWA researchers are out on the Hauraki Gulf this week to find out more about the nurseries of young snapper.
Humans don't always make it easy on fish to get where they are going. New Zealand's first national set of Fish Passage Guidelines – co-developed by NIWA - is expected to help.

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.
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.

NIWA is in its third year of a 5-year phased project on the deepwater line fishery in Tonga funded by the NZ Aid Programme’s Partnership for International Development Fund. The aim of the project is to deliver the improved governance, management, and economic and biological sustainability of the fishery focusing on deepwater snapper and bluenose in the Tonga EEZ.

Latest videos

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.
Taking the pulse of Antarctica’s ocean ecosystem
Niwa scientists have anchored an echosounder to the sea floor of Terra Nova Bay that could reveal the mystery of silverfish reproduction under the Antarctic ice.
Based at Bream Bay, Whangarei, Crispin Middleton is also an acclaimed underwater photographer and the recipient of numerous photography awards. His work regularly appears in New Zealand Geographic, dive magazines, scientific journals and conservation/ government documents.

Glass eel ear bones could reveal migration patterns

The ear bones of tiny eels might hold clues to their largely secret life.

NIWA freshwater ecologist Dr Eimear Egan hopes that a three-year research project will help reveal the secret life of eels, where they go and why. 

The project might also reveal their migratory habits from New Zealand rivers across vast areas of the ocean, and the effects of climate change in the ocean. 

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.

The New Zealand Freshwater Fish Database (NZFFD) records the occurrence of fish in fresh waters of New Zealand.
The Ross Sea Region Research and Monitoring Programme (Ross-RAMP) is a five-year research programme funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and run by NIWA to evaluate the effectiveness of the Ross Sea Marine Protected Area.
As a young child growing up on an Irish farm, one of Eimear Egan’s chores was to regularly clean out the well from where her family drew its drinking water. In the well lived a large eel that, no matter how many times it was shifted, just kept coming back.
The Fish Passage Assessment Tool has been developed to provide an easy to use, practical tool for recording instream structures and assessing their likely impact on fish movements and river connectivity.
NIWA provides live satellite data for sea surface temperature and chlorophyll analysis for use by New Zealand's fishing industry.
NIWA researchers are out on the Hauraki Gulf this week to find out more about the nurseries of young snapper.
Humans don't always make it easy on fish to get where they are going. New Zealand's first national set of Fish Passage Guidelines – co-developed by NIWA - is expected to help.
One of the most challenging scientific underwater experiments ever attempted by NIWA is taking place this month on the Chatham Rise.
NIWA is in its third year of a 5-year phased project on the deepwater line fishery in Tonga funded by the NZ Aid Programme’s Partnership for International Development Fund. The aim of the project is to deliver the improved governance, management, and economic and biological sustainability of the fishery focusing on deepwater snapper and bluenose in the Tonga EEZ.
The New Zealand Fish Passage Guidelines sets out recommended practice for the design of instream infrastructure to provide for fish passage.

Think about a futuristic world where at night time, people use different kind of self-propelled vehicles to hover across cities, illuminating the skies with different colours and shapes, while transiting around them.

When NIWA fisheries scientist Richard O’Driscoll went to sea earlier this year, he and his team measured so many fish that laid end to end, they would have stretched for 31km.
At a laboratory just outside Whangarei, scientists are putting very young snapper through comprehensive physical testing - including a full medical check-up involving smell, hearing, vision, and even anxiety testing.
NIWA research ship Tangaroa has been chartered by the Ministry of Primary Industries to survey the Hoki fishery on the Chatham Rise during January and early February 2018.
“You almost become a fishing psychologist – you can tell by the way people walk up the ramp to get their trailer if they’ve had a good day.”
Rapid warming of the ocean near Tasmania may provide a good indication of how the water around New Zealand will change as the planet warms, say NIWA scientists.

New science on inanga

The inward migrations of inanga (Galaxias maculatus) post-larvae back to freshwaters occur primarily in late winter and spring time where they are targeted as part of the whitebait fishery. In this study, we shed light on the relationships between growth attained in pelagic and freshwater environments.
Approximately 500 Aquatic invertebrate taxa are described in this database, made available to assist with the identification of specimens.
The spread of Bonamia ostreae from Marlborough Sounds to oyster farms in Big Glory Bay (Stewart Island) could spread to the valuable wild oyster population.
The Ross Sea Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the Southern Ocean will help further research into the ecology of Antarctic toothfish.

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All staff working on this subject

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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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Freshwater 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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