Fish

Latest news

People along the Kapiti and Wanganui coast may spot NIWA’s research vessel Kaharoa operating close to shore in the next few weeks as scientists carry out a survey of snapper, tarakihi, red gurnard and John Dory.
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.

Our work

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.
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 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.

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.

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.

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

Havelock Mussel Festival

20 March 2010

Year after year the Havelock Mussel Festival is a huge success, drawing crowds of up to 6000 people.
In 2009 there were a record number of 70 stalls which offered food, wine and beer, crafts and industry displays. This was in conjunction with top kiwi entertainment, lots of fun activities - it really is the festival that brings the whole community together.
In 2010 NIWA will again be taking a Gold Sponsorship of the event, sponsoring the The NIWA Kidzone.

New Zealand’s iconic whitebait species are disappearing from our waterways, but help could soon be at hand for the threatened giant kōkopu.

The giant kōkopu is a native whitebait species considered rare and vulnerable. NIWA is working with Mahurangi Technical Institute and environmental consultancy Boffa Miskell to test the feasibility of reintroducing giant kōkopu to Nukumea Stream, north of Auckland.

Researchers at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) have contributed their findings to a major news release by the Census of Marine Life charting an astonishing abundance, diversity, and distribution of deep-sea species.

Scientists from the UK, Japan and New Zealand have successfully photographed the deepest fish in the southern hemisphere at 7561 metres deep in the Kermadec Trench, just northeast of New Zealand.

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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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