Snapped! Tag reveals fish’s 20-year history

Snapped! Tag reveals fish’s 20-year history

The snapper contained a tag – known as a passive integrated transponder (PIT) – that was implanted into the fish on 21 February 2002 by NIWA principal technician Derrick Parkinson, who incidentally still works at NIWA.

8 Conservation Writing Awards for Cool Green Science

8 Conservation Writing Awards for Cool Green Science

We hope that you enjoy this selection of the winning entries, with stories on everything from the love lives of bowerbirds to whitefish conservation, from glow-in-the-dark mammals to fishing in mountain hotspots full of freak invasives.

How Scientists Fish: The Hand Line

How Scientists Fish: The Hand Line

“You’ll know,” says Kydd Pollock, fisheries science manager for The Nature Conservancy and research leader for the Fishing for Science program at Palmyra Atoll.He had substantial experience with a form of hand line: He tagged more than 2,500 sharks at Palmyra using the method.

Removing barriers to ensure freshwater fish can complete their life cycle

Removing barriers to ensure freshwater fish can complete their life cycle

NIWA’s Freshwater Species Programme Leader Dr Paul Franklin said World Fish Migration Day, on May 21, is a good time to remind New Zealanders of the challenges migratory fish face, and also the research that is underway to provide solutions.

Seeing the Forest for the Deer: Alaskan Scientists Harness Big Data for Conservation

Seeing the Forest for the Deer: Alaskan Scientists Harness Big Data for Conservation

For scientist Sophie Gilbert, who spent four recent summers tracking the movements of Sitka black-tailed deer in the Tongass National Forest in a project with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, that means notebooks with waterproof paper.

Stories from Palmyra: The Recapture

Stories from Palmyra: The Recapture

On the next Fishing for Science trip in February of this year, a scientific angler caught a bluefin trevally that had been tagged on February 6, 2020, at liberty for 753 days.Giant trevally caught and tagged on a Fishing for Science trip in February 2022.

Fishing for Science on Palmyra Atoll

Fishing for Science on Palmyra Atoll

© Kydd Pollock / TNC My fishing partner, Kawika Auld, a master angler from Hawaii, is already by the side of the boat, gloves on and ready to go.After 10 days, we had tagged more than 240 trevally, more than any previous Fishing for Science trip.

Protecting and Restoring the Floodplain Forest

Protecting and Restoring the Floodplain Forest

© Chuck Peoples / TNC In 1989, the Conservancy purchased 10,626 acres along the river that became the Roanoke National Wildlife Refuge.Since 2002, the Conservancy has worked with the Corps of Engineers on dam releases that mimic natural flows, providing pulses of water to the floodplain forest that provide for vegetation and fish migration and spawning.

Passing FAD: Partnership Protects the Reef at Palmyra Atoll

Passing FAD: Partnership Protects the Reef at Palmyra Atoll

That is thanks to an innovative partnership called FAD Watch Program between conservation and industry, specifically the US tuna fishing fleet, that is remotely tracking FADs to protect Palmyra, and provide important oceanographic data as well.

Giant Redfin: Conserving South Africa’s Native Fish

Giant Redfin: Conserving South Africa’s Native Fish

Giant Redfin: Conserving South Africa’s Native Fish.Giant redfin and other freshwater species in the Cape Region face significant challenges.And the litany of challenges they face will be familiar to freshwater conservationists everywhere: invasive species, pollution, water quantity and habitat degradation.

Cutting-edge AI sea craft helping scientists count fish

Cutting-edge AI sea craft helping scientists count fish

“Hoki are one of the species we research – they have major spawning events, but we are currently only able to collect data on these for a few weeks every two years.NIWA hopes to be routinely using the vessel for monitoring fish within the next five years.

Four tales of love in the wild, from peacock spiders to pufferfish.

Four tales of love in the wild, from peacock spiders to pufferfish.

© Martijn Klijnstra / Wikimedia Commons Somewhere in the ocean off the coast of Japan, lives a little pufferfish no longer than 120 centimeters producing fantastical geometric circular designs to attract a mate.Unfortunately for males, female peacock spiders only mate once in their lives.

Why Do Flickers Knock on Your House?

Why Do Flickers Knock on Your House?

“If I were a flicker, I would look at houses as big trees,” says Chris Anderson, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist.With all their knocking and rolling, flickers are an entertaining bird worth watching, but not worth losing your house for.

Surveying scallop populations with artificial intelligence

Surveying scallop populations with artificial intelligence

To ensure the fishing surveys have the least impact possible, NIWA has been working with the University of Canterbury and Fisheries New Zealand to develop a non-invasive method of counting scallop populations.

Snapper on the rise

Snapper on the rise

Thirty years of management informed by a raft of scientific research appears to now be paying dividends.In the Hauraki Gulf, commercial and recreational fishers are reporting improving catches, and NIWA scientists will soon be able to estimate whether the highly valued Hauraki Gulf snapper population is seeing a similar increase.

Juvenile fish nurseries in the Hauraki Gulf

Juvenile fish nurseries in the Hauraki Gulf

The first type of nurseries are shallow areas of biogenic (living) habitats that ‘stick up’ from the seafloor and provide three-dimensional structures, such as horse mussel beds, subtidal seagrass, sponge gardens and calcareous tubeworm mounds.

Inside the International Effort to Save One Tiny Mexican Fish

Inside the International Effort to Save One Tiny Mexican Fish

The ambitious conservation translocation project began in 1998 when English aquarist Ivan Dibble arrived at Michoacán University with some very precious cargo—five pairs of tequila fish from England’s Chester Zoo. No one knows exactly why the tequila fish went extinct in the wild, but it was likely a combination of pollution and invasive species moving in, according to scientists at the zoo.

Big Gulp: Blue Catfish Eats Wood Duck

Big Gulp: Blue Catfish Eats Wood Duck

“The bay at the time was in a degraded condition, and fisheries managers thought blue catfish could provide something for people to fish for,” says Crum.

Got an Invasive Army of Crayfish Clones? Try Eating Them

Got an Invasive Army of Crayfish Clones? Try Eating Them

Lyko led the ambitious genome study that established the extraordinary fact that all marbled crayfish originate from a single foundational female.

The Biodiversity Crisis Needs Its Net Zero Moment

The Biodiversity Crisis Needs Its Net Zero Moment

These targets will be debated and finalized at a second meeting due to take place in Kunming, China, in April 2022.The last time the parties of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity got together to set a global biodiversity agenda was in Japan in 2010, where they came up with the Aichi targets, a set of 20 goals aimed at reducing a range of environmental harms including habitat loss, overfishing, and pollution over the subsequent decade.

A Gene-Tweaked Jellyfish Offers a Glimpse of Other Minds

A Gene-Tweaked Jellyfish Offers a Glimpse of Other Minds

GCaMP has been widely used in research on mice, zebrafish, and flies, but it actually originally comes from a jellyfish that’s closely related to Clytia, so Weissbourd’s team also had to knock out the genes for four other green fluorescent proteins that naturally occurred inside them.

A Survey for the Chihuahua Chub

A Survey for the Chihuahua Chub

I work hard to incorporate a little bit of outdoor fun into my desk job, so recently I found myself out with the NMDGF crew surveying fish in the Mimbres River.

Catch sampling

Catch sampling

In the noise of the Sanford processing shed In Auckland, NIWA scientists Rikki Taylor and Darren Parsons are measuring hundreds of fish from a catch that has just landed as well as removing otoliths to be measured back at the laboratory.

Meet the Muskrat: Push-Up Champion of Cattail Marshes

Meet the Muskrat: Push-Up Champion of Cattail Marshes

Muskrats don’t cache food for the winter like a beaver so they must find fresh aquatic plants every day under the ice, though they’ll occasionally snack on small fish, clams, snails and turtles, too.

Retired scientist completes four-decade-long bibliographic work

Retired scientist completes four-decade-long bibliographic work

After 40 years of work, retired NIWA fisheries scientist Larry Paul has just published a 793-page bibliography of references to New Zealand marine fishes.For all that the bibliography covers, Larry says new species of fish are still being discovered throughout New Zealand’s waters.

A Third of Shark and Ray Species May Face Extinction

A Third of Shark and Ray Species May Face Extinction

The health of “entire ocean ecosystems” and food security is in jeopardy, said Dulvy, a former co-chair of the shark specialist group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).The number of species of sharks, rays, and chimaeras, known together as chondrichthyan fishes, facing “a global extinction crisis” has more than doubled in less than a decade, according to the paper published September 6 in the journal Current Biology.

How Citizen Science Aids Horseshoe Crab Conservation

How Citizen Science Aids Horseshoe Crab Conservation

Females are bigger than males, and instead of mating then laying eggs, the females drop eggs in sandy nests and then males, which have attached themselves to the females, release sperm directly on top of the eggs, says Berlynna Heres, Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission researcher and lead author of the recent paper “Using Citizen Science to Track Population Trends in the American Horseshoe Crab.”.

The End of Trash Fish

The End of Trash Fish

My friend, a visiting fish biologist, was thrilled to catch species new to him, like chiselmouth, largescale sucker and northern pikeminnow.It’s time to put the term “trash fish” in the trash, where it belongs, and give these fish the respect (and management) they deserve.

50 Fish, 50 States: Freaks in the Hot Springs

50 Fish, 50 States: Freaks in the Hot Springs

© Matt Miller4 of 9Tilapia can now be caught in many warm springs, urban rivers and canals across the United States.Miller9 of 9African jewel cichlid, an exotic species common in Florida waters as well as in warm springs in the western United States.

New biodiversity memoir on the primnoid corals of New Zealand

New biodiversity memoir on the primnoid corals of New Zealand

A group of gorgonian octocorals that provide shelter for fish and invertebrates in the deep sea is the subject of NIWA’s latest Biodiversity Memoir.The NIWA Biodiversity Memoir series describe the taxonomy of New Zealand marine life, mostly for invertebrates such as sponges, corals, marine worms, molluscs, crustaceans and sea stars.

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