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Frittered away

Written by Dave Hansford
Photographs by Rob Suisted
New Zealand Geographic

What we call ‘whitebait’ are the juveniles of five species of galaxiidae: Īnanga, kōaro, giant kōkopu, banded kōkopu and shortjaw kōkopu.

There isn’t a catch limit on the lucrative whitebait fishery, which threatens to extinguish a cherished tradition and a small family of fish in one sweep of the net. If nothing changes, two whitebait species will be gone within five years, and the rest by 2034.

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