Understanding Taonga Freshwater Fish Populations in Aotearoa-New Zealand
We commissioned NIWA in 2017 to provide an updated environmental scan of freshwater fisheries in New Zealand. As part of this report, we also requested a review of current knowledge on species, including: tuna (freshwater eels), piharau/kanakana (lamprey), kōura/kēwai (freshwater crayfish), whitebait, porohe (smelt), kanae (mullet), pātiki mohoao (black flounder), and kākahi/kāeo (freshwater mussels). While most of these species are only found in Aotearoa-NZ – īnanga, kōaro, shortfin tuna and piharau/kanakana are found elsewhere in the Southern Hemisphere.
In this report, we have drawn upon the available literature to discuss what is currently known about each species in terms of:
- Understanding the life cycle of each species.
- Aotearoa-NZ distribution.
- State and trends in the relative abundance of populations (if known).
- Threat status, as determined by two methods: New Zealand Threat Classification System and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
- What we know about pressures on freshwater taonga species populations.
- Who has responsibilities for managing the fish/fishery.