Rangitāne replenish local eel stocks
As part of Project Tuna, a hundred juvenile tuna (eels) have been released into the Turitea stream by Rangitāne to help boost their numbers.
Celebrating the release of the elvers with Palmerston North City Council staff, Rangitāne environmental officers have achieved a significant milestone for the Rangitāne Fish Plan, one of the first iwi fish plans in New Zealand. The fish plan sets out the objectives for the iwi in terms of development of fishing commercially, management of habitat and protection of species. Eels are a taonga (treasured) species and a key priority is the repatriation of them to depleted habitats. The eels, including the endangered longfin eel, were successfully raised from glass eels caught on the coast as they migrated back from the Pacific Ocean. The Turitea stream was one of several release sites selected around the region this autumn due to its ideal habitat and because it has low numbers of eels. The ceremony also marked the close of the past summer’s joint fish trap and transfer programme at the Turitea water supply dams. Supported by Horizons Regional Council, NIWA, DOC, Massey University and Fish and Game, the project reflects the need for collaboration in securing the future of our native fish.
The fish trap and transfer programme is an ongoing partnership between Palmerston North City Council and Rangitāne o Manawatū to ensure native fish have access to the pristine waters in the bush remnant above the Turitea dams.