Ran­gitāne re­plen­ish lo­cal eel stocks

The Tribune (NZ) - - Square Circular -

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.

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