Fish

Latest news

Some of the first research into how microplastics are affecting New Zealand fish species has revealed that microplastic fragments can find their way through the gut lining and into muscle tissue.
Sadie Mills has come a long way from scaring the inhabitants of Scottish rock pools. Sarah Fraser explains.
A lack of information about New Zealand oceanic shark populations is making it difficult to assess how well they are doing, says a NIWA researcher.
New Zealand’s native fish are doing their best to climb up ramps in a NIWA laboratory so scientists can learn how to better help them navigate our tricky waterways.

Our work

NIWA has a number of projects that are allowing us to better understand the interaction between snapper and their environment over their life cycle.
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.
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.

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.

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.

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.

The tools available for restoring native fish to streams depend on what is causing fish to decline.
Identifying the factors causing fish numbers to drop will allow you to determine which restoration tools you need to employ.

This programme runs until 2013. To date, we've achieved many key milestones towards developing elite kingfish, hāpuku, and pāua broodstock for the future aquaculture industry. These are summarised below.

The High Value Aquaculture Programme has made great progress on a number of fronts. Here, we summarise highlights for all four species: kingfish, hapuku, paua, and salmon.

NIWA has recently tested our cultured hapuku on a selection of high profile chefs as part of our development of new high value species for the New Zealand aquaculture industry. The fish was highly praised for its taste and versatility of use and shows potential to grace fine dining establishments in North America, Europe and Asia.

‘Whitebait’ tagged as part of a unique experiment have turned up. Earlier this year the giant kōkopu released into the Nukumea Stream in Orewa had disappeared, but when scientists returned in June the fish were back!

Scientists returned to the Nukumea Stream in Orewa in June, to investigate the trial release of giant kōkopu and found that they were back!

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.

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.

This summer, watch out when snorkelling around the New Zealand coastline, for our very own sea monster: Hippocampus abdominalis, the pot-bellied sea horse.

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All staff working on this subject

Hydro-ecological Modeller
Principal Scientist - Fisheries
Population Modeller
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Principal Scientist - Fisheries Modeller
Assistant Regional Manager - Christchurch
Fisheries Acoustics Scientist
Fisheries Data Manager
Fisheries Scientist
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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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