Karati released in recognition of the late Te Rangi o Kiwa John Morgan

2 April 2015

Around ten thousand Karati (Snapper fingerlings) have been released this morning / April 2nd at Nelson’s Haven Inlet in recognition of the late Te Rangi o Kiwa John Morgan of Ngati Rarua and his many decades of contribution to fisheries in Te Tau Ihu. 

The ceremony, jointly hosted by Te Tau Ihu Fisheries Forum, Plant & Food Research and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), began with a welcome to the Morgan Whanau, members of the Te Tau Ihu Fisheries Forum, Iwi and other manuwhiri to Plant & Food Research’s Port Nelson-based site. Following heartfelt speeches by members of Ngati Rarua, the fishing industry and MPI, the Karati from Plant & Food Research’s seafood research programme were blessed and released by the Morgan Whanau.

The ceremony comes just a day after the first anniversary of Plant & Food Research’s Maitai site, which was formally opened by Hon. Dr Nick Smith, MP for Nelson, on April 1 2014 at a function attended by local officials and more than 130 representatives from the seafood industry, iwi and science community.

Plant & Food Research’s seafood research hatchery in Nelson has recently completed trial runs of snapper breeding and rearing in order to test and calibrate its new hatchery systems. As a result of these trials, the hatchery had 35,000 juvenile snapper, approximately 50-80mm in length, to release into the sea.

Plant & Food Research and MPI have worked together to assess options for a sea release of the fish. Prior to today’s release, the health of the fish was assessed and biosecurity and genetic risks considered.

“Today’s release allows us to examine the chemical marking of juvenile fish and trial the hatchery’s new direct sea-release technology, as well as test new camera and monitoring technology to capture the release and dispersal of the fish,” says Plant & Food Research’s Seafood Technologies Science Group Leader, Alistair Jerrett.

“New Zealand’s seafood industry is keen to explore our indigenous seafood species and is working closely with Plant & Food Research.  This hatchery allows researchers to evaluate a range of species in partnership with industry.

“This is an important milestone for long-term fish rearing programmes in New Zealand.”

Emma Timewell
Communications Manager, Corporate Communications,
Plant & Food Research Mt Albert,
120 Mt Albert Road, Sandringham
Auckland, 1025, New Zealand
EMail: media@plantandfood.co.nz
Telephone: +64-9-925 8692
Mobile: +64-21-2429 365

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