Fish

Latest news

A new study has identified seven freshwater species native to Aotearoa-New Zealand that will likely be highly or very highly vulnerable to climate change.
NIWA scientists have made a breakthrough that may underpin expansion of the high-value New Zealand salmon farming industry.
NIWA researchers are heading out from Tasman early next week to survey an area thought to be home to important juvenile fish nurseries.
This award-winning kingfish sashimi dish is creating quite a splash – but it doesn’t come from the sea. We look at NIWA’s latest aquaculture success story and the new opportunities it’s on path to deliver.

Our work

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.
Maniapoto Māori Trust Board and NIWA worked collaboratively during 2018-19 to support Ngāti Maniapoto whānau to reconnect with and participate in the assessment of their freshwater according to their values.
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.
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.

Latest videos

The world's most mysterious fish

A video about The world's most mysterious fish. NIWA researchers are working with iwi to try to unlock the secrets of New Zealand tuna—freshwater eels. Every year tiny, glass eels wash in on the tide at river mouths along our coast. But where do they come from and how do they get there?

 

Science on the high seas

Sustainable fisheries depend on good scientific data about fish stocks. NIWA scientists head out into Cook Strait on Research Vessel Kaharoa to survey the hoki fishery and advise officials on catch rates.

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.

ROV Fiordland footage

Never before seen footage. This amazing footage was captured by our ROV in the Fiordland Sounds.

Southern Blue Whiting Fishery

NIWA fisheries scientist Dr Stuart Hanchet describes the history and management of the southern blue whiting fishery, centred around New Zealand's subantarctic islands.

NIWA aims to provide the key science services required by the national and international fisheries sectors and their industry partners.
Instream structures such as hydroelectric dams may act as barriers to fish migration, and have the ability to alter the ecological connectivity of freshwater environments.

The giant kokopu (Galaxias argenteus) is one of five native galaxiid fish species which, as juveniles, make up the whitebait catch in New Zealand. Many people don't realise that this national delicacy can grow to such significant proportions, with adult giant kokopu of over 450 mm reported.

Since European settlement there have been many changes in land use in New Zealand, with large forested areas having been cleared for human habitation and agriculture.
Tuna is a generic Māori word for freshwater eels. The word will be used interchangeably in this resource.

NIWA's research vessel Tangaroa will set sail for the Chatham Rise tonight to improve our understanding of how marine ecosystems affect commercially exploited fish, and how commercial fisheries affect the marine food-web. The Chatham Rise, a large plateau between the South Island and Chatham Islands, is our most productive fishing ground.

Community interest in maintaining healthy trout fisheries has underpinned a significant drive to protect water quality in New Zealand.

Some fish may still be scarce or absent even though recruitment is occurring, habitat is present and there is no recent history of pollution or floods.

If you suspect overfishing is reducing fish numbers, contact DOC or Fish & Game.

A problem with recruitment is usually indicated by the absence, or very low density, of fish where they would normally be present.

The environmental effects of developing land and water for human use have decimated New Zealand's native fish fauna, but we now have the knowledge to reverse this trend and restore native fish in streams. 

If the low abundance of fish in your stream is not related to a reduction in habitat, waterquality, flow or the presence of downstream barriers, it might be due to the inability of juvenile fish to enter the stream.
The movements of many juvenile native fish are often hindered by barriers to fish passage such as dams, weirs, falls, tide gates, culverts, screens and high water velocities. The New Zealand Fish Passage Guidelines sets out recommended practice for the design of instream infrastructure to provide for fish passage.

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.

Over the long hot summer many kiwis will be digging deep in the sand for pipi. These yummy shellfish live buried in the sand and are free at the beach! 

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.

Kahawai are an iconic species for recreational fishers. They are fantastic fighters and are found in most coastal waters, harbours, and estuaries around New Zealand, in both the North Island and South Island.

Lurking in the depths of freshwater waterways, all around New Zealand, longfin eels are the most common fish in our rivers. The native longfin eel, at up to 1.6 metres in length, is something to be in awe of, especially when there's a crowd of them – and they aren't the most attractive thing you've ever seen.

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All staff working on this subject

Hydro-ecological Modeller
Principal Scientist - Fisheries
Population Modeller
Principal Scientist - Fisheries
Assistant Regional Manager - Christchurch
Fisheries Acoustics Scientist
Fisheries Data Manager
Principal Scientist - Fisheries
Principal Scientist - Fisheries
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Principal Technician - Fisheries
Freshwater Fish Ecologist
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Marine Ecology Technician
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Principal Technician - Fisheries
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Environmental Scientist
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