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The longfin eel

  • Longfin eels are as old as Aotearoa New Zealand itself. Over millions of years, they have evolved to become the top predator in the country’s rivers, lakes, and streams – they are highly adapted to the local conditions. The New Zealand longfin eel is found nowhere else in the world, and its life cycle is quite extraordinary.

    Over recent years, concern about the future of the longfin eel has been expressed by many Māori, environmental groups, the New Zealand Conservation Authority, and some scientists and local government representatives. 

    In 2013, Commissioner Wright released a report to assess just how threatened the longfin eel is and to consider what actions might need to be taken to manage and protect this unique and important species. In this explore section, you will find more information about the longfin eel, along with links to related resources.