NEW ZEALAND MARINE LIFE FACTS
Fishes: Fastest Biggest and Other Interesting Marine Life Facts
Over 1200 species of fish exist in marine ecosystems within New Zealand waters including tidal estuaries, seamounts, and reefs and of these around 110 species are endemic or native to New Zealand. 50% or less are found in open sea with around 61% of fish species found in coastal rock pools. 15,000 or so marine species have been found in New Zealand waters out of an estimated total of up to 50,000 or more?
New Zealand Freshwater Fish Life
New Zealand has 29 identified species of native freshwater fish.
One fish, the Grayling, became extinct but survived through until at least 1922.
10 of the remaining species are considered threatened.
In all likelihood new species are yet to be identified.
Around 20 alien species of freshwater fish have been introduced since European settlement and include; Trout, Salmon, Koi Carp, Catfish, Tench, Rudd and Perch.
New Zealand Commercial Fishery
New Zealand controls the world’s 4th largest coastal fishing zone.
This Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) produces about 1% of the world's catch.
New Zealand seafood exports in 2007 were worth around NZ$1.25 billion, making it the 4th biggest New Zealand export earner behind dairy, meat and forestry.
In 2007, 315,000 metric tonnes of seafood products left the country which at the above export earnings total equates to a NZ$396.83 return per metric tonne of fish. (please advise Fish Art Gallery if you believe this figure is incorrect)
Approximately 130 species of fish, shellfish and crab are targeted commercially in New Zealand waters and they include;
Albacore Tuna, Anchovy, Alfonsino, Antarctic Toothfish, Arrow Squid, Barracouta, Bass, Black Cardinalfish, Black Oreo, Blue Cod, Blue Mackerel, Blue Moki, Bigeye Tuna, Black Paua, Bluenose, Blue Shark, Butterfish, Cockle, Common Warehou, Cardinal Fish, Deepwater (King) Clam, Deepwater Tuatua, Elephant Fish, Frilled Venus Shell, Freshwater Eel , Flounders(6 species) , Frostfish, Garfish, Gemfish, Green-lipped Mussel, Grey Mullet, Giant Spider Crab, Ghost Shark, Giant Stargazer, Gurnard, Hake, Hoki, Horse Mussel, Hapuku(Groper), John Dory, Jack Mackerel(3 species), Kahawai, Kina, King Crab, Kingfish, Knobbed Whelk, Large Trough Shell, Long-finned Beryx, Lookdown Dory, Leatherjacket, Long-finned Eel, Ling, Mako Shark, Moonfish, Orange Roughy, Oysters Dredge, Paddle Crab, Parore, Pacific Bluefin Tuna, Packhorse Rock Lobster, Pale Ghost Shark, Pilchard, Porae, Porbeagle Shark, Pipi, Prawn Killer, Queen Scallop, Rock Lobster(crayfish), Ringed Dosinia, Rays Bream, Red Cod, Red Crab, Rig, Ribaldo, Rough Skate, Red Snapper, Rubyfish, Silky Dosinia, Southern Blue Whiting, Scallop, Sea Cucumber, School Shark, Scampi, Short-finned Freshwater Eel, Smooth Oreo, Snapper, Spiny Dogfish, Sea Perch, Sprats, Smooth Skate, Southern Bluefin Tuna
Silver Warehou, Striped Marlin, Swordfish, Triangle Shell, Trough Shell, Tarakihi, Trevally, Trumpeter, Tuatua, White Warehou, Yellow-eyed Mullet, Yellowfin Tuna, Yellowfoot Paua
Sailfish Istiophorus platypterus 110kph - 68mph
Mako Shark Isurus oxyrinchus 96kph - 60mph
Marlin Tetrapturus sp. 80kph - 50mph
Wahoo Acanthocybium solandri 78kph - 48mph
Bluefin Tuna Thunnus thynnus 70kph - 43mph
Blue Shark Prionace glauca 69kph - 43mph
Swordfish Xiphius gladius 64kph - 40mph
Largest of all Whale Shark Rhinodon typus 18.00m 60ft 40,823kg 90,000 lbs
Largest Basking Shark Cetorhinus maximus 13.72m 45ft 14,514kg 32,000 lbs
Largest White Shark Carcharodon carcharias 06.60m 21ft 3,285kg 7,300 lbs
Largest Tiger Shark Galeocerdo cuvieri 06.26m 20ft10” 939kg 2,070 lbs
Largest Hammerhead Sphyrna mokarran 05.60m 18ft 4” 843kg 1,860 lbs
Largest Thresher Shark Alopias vulpinus 06.00m 19ft 499kg 1,100 lbs
Largest Six-gill Shark Hexanchus griseus 04.57m 15ft 590kg 1,300 lbs
Heaviest Fish: Class: Ostyichtheys (bony fish)
Ocean Sunfish Mola mola 3.05m-10ft and 4.27m-14 ft between dorsal and anal fins.
A specimen of 2,235kg-4,928 lbs was struck and killed by a ship off Australia in 1908.
The Oarfish Regalecus glesne 17m-56 ft is reported to be the longest bony fish.
It has a ribbon-like body.
Stout Infantfish Schindleria brevipinguis 8.4mm Found at the Lizard Island area Queensland.
Largest Ocean Carnivore
Sperm Whale Physeter macrocephalus 20m 65 ft 36,287kg 80,000 lbs
Cyanea arctica 2.3m-7 ft 6” across the bell with a tentacle of 36.58m-120 ft.
Macrocystis pyrifera Giant Kelp 54m-177ft long is found of the California coast.
Long Living Fish
Orange Roughy Hoplostethus atlanticus 150 years
Common Eel Anguilla anguilla 88 years
Snapper Pagrus aratus 66 years
Atlantic giant squid Architeuthis dux perhaps up to 50cm - 20"
Abyssobrotula galatheae: A species of cuskee A 20cm long fish was found at a depth of 8,370m-27,455 ft
Giant spider crab Macrocheira kaempferi: Individuals can measure 35cm-14” across the body, with a claw span of 2.3m-9ft.
There is a report of a crab weighing 6.35kg-14 lbs with a claw span of 3.66m-12 ft.
Most Abundant Fish
Atlantic Herring Clupea harengus: Schools up to 4 cubic-km containing an estimated 4 billion fish have been measured. (To 45cm 18".5kg)
Great Shark Carcharodon megalodon Lived during the middle and late Tertiary period, about 50 - 4.5 million years ago.
Studies suggest it had a maximum length of 13.7m (45 ft).
Largest Prehistoric Fish
Leedsichthys problematicus: Swam in the oceans more than 150 million years ago.
The fossil found in England was from a fish that reached 22m-72 ft long.
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