New Zealand has nearly 40 native fish species. Whitebait are the juveniles of five fish species: giant kokopu, banded kokopu, shortjaw kokopu, inanga, and koaro.

Native fish are secretive and nocturnal. Half of our fish species spend some part of their lives at sea, which means they need easy passage to get to and from their freshwater habitats.

DOC surveys and monitors fish populations around New Zealand. We're also involved in planting and encouraging others to replant riparian vegetation along the edge of waterways to help our native fish.

Find out more about New Zealand's native fish, including stories and videos about DOC's work, and threats and how to help native fish.


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DOC's 24 hour emergency hotline:

0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468)

Call to report sick or injured wildlife, and whale or dolphin strandings.