NIWA have tagged 22,000 snapper on the west coast of the North
Island. The research project is to be used to help determine the
biomass of the SNA8 stock, the fish were tagged between February
and March 2002.
Most of the 22,000 fish were caught and tagged in shallow water,
less than 25 meters depth, because that was where the fish were
most abundant. The project is designed to get an estimate of SNA8
biomass (size of the snapper fishery on the west coast) over the
All fish where caught by trawlers with short tows (between 2
and 20 minutes bottom time) and tagged with magnetic PIT tags
implanted into the gut. Much of the commercial snapper catch from
the west coast will be scanned for tags over the next eight months.
Kitefishers Can Contribute
If recreational fishers find one of these tags (like a small
plastic pill with copper wires) when gutting their catch they
can return it to NIWA. Recreational returns will not be used in
the stock assessment side of the project but will provide useful
information on growth and movement.
How To Measure Your Fish
If you measure the length of the fish from the nose to the fork
in the tail, record this plus the date of capture and describe
where the fish was caught. There are no rewards offered this time
for returning tags but they will try and follow up any returns.
Tags, fish information and your details can be posted to Jeremy
McKenzie NIWA PO Box 109-695 Newmarket, Auckland; or phone (09)
Good News for Kite Fishers
(From NZ Fishing World, Sept issue)
" We wanted the tagging programme to reflect where the fish
were, so we went right in close in the big trawlers. Normally
they can't go inside a nautical mile, and the skippers enjoyed
the fact they could go closer. But 60% of the snapper were in
less than 25 metres, which is about the mile limit, during February
and March," said Jeremy McKenzie.
" We tagged some pretty big fish, up to 90cm, and on one
tow south of Raglan we caught 150 fish, and half of them were
over 70cm. We saw kite fishermen all the way up the coast, and
they are fishing where the fish are; most of the snapper are within
a nautical mile off the coast from Spirits Bay to Kapiti and as
the commercial skippers said: "There's your conservation."