Tuna information resource

Tuna, or freshwater eels, are the most widespread freshwater fish in New Zealand. This 'living' educational resource summarises a large amount of scientific and technical literature.

Tuna or freshwater eels - the most widespread freshwater fish in New Zealand - are amazing animals, starting life as a tiny egg in the depths of the Pacific Ocean.

There is no argument regarding the importance of tuna in the lives of Māori, where this taonga species permeates, for example, place names, whakataukī, legends, waiata and artwork. 

This is a 'living' educational resource that summarises a large amount of scientific and technical literature, published in journals, reports, websites, and books.

  • (no image provided)

    Tuna - worldwide distribution

    It is thought freshwater eels were originally marine fish which adapted to live most of their lives in fresh water, and that the present distribution of the 18 species of freshwater eel is largely a result of continental drift.
  • (no image provided)

    Tuna - freshwater eels in New Zealand

    Tuna is a generic Māori word for freshwater eels. The word will be used interchangeably in this resource.
  • Tuna - biology and ecology

    Freshwater eels have an unusual life cycle which sees them travelling between the ocean, estuaries and freshwaters.
  • (no image provided)

    Tuna - pressures on New Zealand populations

    Freshwater eel populations around the world are in steep decline.
  • Tuna - solutions for restoration and enhancement

    Shortfin and longfin eels are an important resource from both a human/cultural use and biodiversity perspective.
  • Tuna - monitoring

    In this section, we look at defining your research questions, site selection and timing, sampling methods, and considerations for data collection.
  • Tuna - case studies

    Showcasing tuna research and restoration initiatives being undertaken around New Zealand.
  • (no image provided)

    Tuna - databases and resources

  • (no image provided)

    Tuna - acknowledgements

    Since NIWA was established as a Crown Research Institute in 1992, the organisation has been fortunate to receive funding to undertake research that continues to increase our understanding of a fascinating and incredibly important taonga freshwater fish.