Archives For fish

Marine Ranger Tom MacTavish takes us through the fourth installment in our blog series from the marine reserve monitoring project at Banks Peninsula using baited underwater video.

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Tom Brough takes us through the third installment in our blog series from the marine reserve monitoring project at Banks Peninsula. With 75 hours of underwater footage to analyse our marine rangers have their work cut out for them counting a menagerie of fish life caught on underwater camera.

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Today we follow Kirsten, one of our marine scientists, in the second part a collaborative study with MPI and NIWA to survey blue cod in marine reserves.

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Celebrating World Fish Migration Day in New Zealand, a global event that brings attention to migratory fish and their need for open river systems.

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Welcome to Seaweek 2015 (28 February to 8 March). It’s time to “Look beneath the surface – Papatai ō roto – Papatai ō raro”.

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By Cornelia Vervoon, Partnerships Ranger, Franz Josef

Rangers Mirella Pomeroy and Myles Riki were out in Saltwater Forest on the West Coast last week completing the local annual mudfish (Neochanna apoda) survey.

Range Myles setting a mudfish trap. Photo: Mirella Pomeroy.

Ranger Myles setting one of the mudfish traps

They set 30 traps and caught 32 mudfish, half a dozen koura/crayfish and some kokopu – a great result!

A mudfish and a koura. Photo: Mirella Pomeroy.

A mexican standoff between a mudfish and a koura

Mudfish are under increasing threat from habitat loss, so to find them thriving in Saltwater Forest is a really positive sign.

Two mudfish in a trap. Photo: Mirella Pomeroy.

Two mudfish in one go

Mirella found out what the bigger ones have been eating:

“We caught this one mudfish, which we thought was pregnant because it had a really big belly. Then we picked it up for a closer look… and it regurgitated (“blleeerrrgh”) a juvenile kokopu into Myles’s hand.” 

A mudfish up close. Photo: Mirella Pomeroy.

A mudfish up close

You can find more information about mudfish and New Zealand’s other freshwater fish species on the DOC website.

Saltwater Forest, South Westland. Photo: Mirabella Pomeroy.

Perfect mudfish habitat – Saltwater Forest, South Westland

Meet Teviot flathead galaxias, one of the five species of New Zealand native freshwater fish, whose threat of extinction has recently been listed as nationally critical—the highest threat category

Gulp, gulp… I’m Teviot flathead galaxias, but you can call me Tev.

I live, with every other Teviot on the planet, in a small part of the Teviot River in Otago… gulp, gulp.

If you think that sounds crowded you’d be wrong. There aren’t that many of us. Probably less than 100. So, it’s actually kinda lonely.

Teviot flathead galaxias.

Not just any Teviot flathead galaxias — it’s me!

I may not be as famous as Sirocco the kākāpō (…yet), but some of my family are quite well known. Unfortunately for them though, it’s for how they taste in a fritter… gulp, gulp.

I am every bit as threatened as my feathery friend though. We’re both classified in the New Zealand Threat Classification System as ‘nationally critical’—that’s just one step away from ‘extinct’… gulp, gulp.  

It’s tough to be a small fish like me, as there are many threats to my home, including land use changes, gravel extraction, water abstraction, drain clearing and declining water quality… gulp, gulp.

On top of all this, introduced trout—who are a lot bigger than me—think I’m quite tasty… gulp, gulp—just like you humans with your whitebait fritters.

Gollum galaxias - classified as 'nationally vulnerable'

Gollum galaxias – classified as ‘nationally vulnerable’

I think there’s room for us all—native fish, trout and humans, but we fish rely on you humans to talk to each other and work together to come up with ways to keep our rivers and lakes clean and beautiful and, importantly, to keep me off the ‘extinct’ list… gulp, gulp.

Longfin eel - classified as 'declining'.

Longfin eel – classified as ‘declining’

If you’d like to know more about the conservation status of New Zealand freshwater fish you can find our more information on the Waiology blog.

The Department of Conservation website has the official information on where our freshwater fish are rated on the New Zealand Threat Classification System