Wednesday, 9 December 2009, 9:44 am
Press Release: NIWA
Draft NIWA MEDIA STATEMENT 9 December 2009
Catch me if you can! Scientists play tag with whitebait species
New Zealand’s iconic whitebait species are disappearing from our waterways, but help could soon be at hand for the threatened giant kōkopu. Scientists are carrying out a trial involving ‘tagging’ of individual farm raised fish as part of a plan to reintroduce them to our waterways.
The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) and Mahurangi Technical Institute (MTI), who will be providing the fish, have been engaged by the NZ Transport Agency and its Northern Gateway Alliance (NGA) partners to undertake a project as part of the mitigation programme associated with the recent construction of the Agency™s SH1 toll road. Together they aim to repopulate a stream in Orewa with giant kÍkopu. The giant kÍkopu is one of five galaxiid fish species which, in their juvenile form, make up the whitebait catch and is classified by the Department of Conservation as nationally vulnerable.