Monday, 15 April 2013

Longfin eels

Eels always seemed mysterious to me, living in the dark places of rivers. Today I found out a bit more about the life they lead, yet what I found out just adds to their mystery. 

Longfin eels - tuna - have an amazing life. They start their lives out at sea, a long way from New Zealand in the Pacific Ocean, and they end their lives back there too. But in between, they swim as young eels or ‘elvers’ all the way to New Zealand. Once they are here, they grow into adult eels, and live in our freshwater rivers and lakes. Adult eels swim back out to the Pacific Ocean again to lay eggs and die. And the cycle starts again. 

Migrating animals are intriguing - how do they know to come here generation after generation?

The longfin eel has been declining in numbers, so I was lucky to see them in Nga Manu Nature Reserve today. 

Feeding time for the eels

The rangers at Nga Manu feed the eels at the same time every day. They will come out of the water for food, and could stay alive out of water for several hours.

A group called Maanaki Tuna are calling for a moratorium (rahui) on commercial fishing of longfin eels. Their website has some interesting information longfin eels.