Native Longfinn Eels – Tuna
Any visitor to our Hakikino Conservation Reserve will know about our eels and just how passionately we feel about protecting them and their habitat. We have recently engaged a resident eel specialist from DOC who has come to speak to us about the pressures on the New Zealand’s endemic species which is resulting in their decline. They have also assisted us with ensuring that the young eels (elvers) coming back to our pond have the best chances of survival and are able to make it into our pond safely. Our very own resident eel expert, Paddy has been very busy building a special ladder to assist in their migration.
Eels have always played an important role for Maori, and our early beliefs held that eels or tuna as we know them were a gift from the gods’. The tuna or eels also provided the Maori people with a suitable food source and these eels were once plentiful. Now, due to the pressures they face, we do not harvest any of the eels on our conservation reserve and many of us have stopped eating eels altogether.
We are incredibly fortunate to have these tuna who live up at our conservation reserve and who are only too happy to ‘show off’ for our guests. By creating an opportunity to feed our eels, we are able to share our knowledge on them and let you know what you can do to ensure the species survives. Come and learn more about our eels on one of our personal, intimate tours.