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What does Fish Forever do?

We promote and support marine protection initiatives within, near and beyond New Zealand's Bay of Islands.
We meet the last Thursday of every month in Paihia and welcome new members.
Please get in touch This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | 027 243-1777

Help these guys grow old in the
Maunganui Bay / Deep Water Cove Rahui!

Support the rollover of the Rahui for another two years!



put the big ones backno fishingdolphins in distressvol fishing accordsedimentationREPORT MARINE PESTS

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Reversing the decline

troubleThe Bay of Islands sparkles on the surface, but underneath life is in trouble. The teeming marine life that greeted past generations is now a shadow of its former self. There are many things we can do to reverse the decline. Let's all make changes on the water and on land that will help to rebuild what we love. Future generations must be able to enjoy Tangaroa's abundance. [Read more...]

 Some of the marine protection tools that can start to reverse the decline:

No-take areas deliver

Like we are already beginning to see in the Maunganui Bay rahui, no-take areas are the quickest way to enable marine life to thrive - for recovery, spillover, education, science, tourism and a fantastic snorkelling exprience! [Read more...]

No-take areas boost reproduction

New research confirms adult snapper in the Leigh Marine Reserve boost snapper abundance in surrounding waters. This small marine reserve is punching well above its weight, contributing 10% of juvenile snapper between the Hen and Chicks and Whangaparoa.  [Read more...]




Hapu can lead they way using tools in the Customary Fisheries Legislation to rebuild local fish stocks. Ngati Kuta and Patukeha have done this well with the Maunganui Bay Rahui. Ngā Hapū o Taiamai ki Te Marangi established the 20 sq km Te Puna Mātaitai which excludes commercial fishing. We look forward to the kaitiaki setting bylaws to manage the recreational fishing in this area. [Read more...]


Manage for more fish


Let’s choose to manage our fisheries to have more fish in the sea. Historically NZ's fisheries management decisions have been based on trying to keep fish stocks at just 20% of natural abundance. Managing for 50% natural abundance would mean more fish, bigger fish. [Read more...]

Voluntary fishing accord


Our ever increasing population and technology has put enormous pressure on fish stocks in the Bay of Islands. This is our new reality.  Here's some simple actions all of us who fish can take to conserve our stocks. [Read more...]

Dolphins in distress!


We're loving them to death! In the Bay of Islands 75% of calves die before reaching adulthood... [Read more...]

Sedimentation is a killer


Things we do on land affects the amount of fish in the sea. Loss of sediment-trapping wetlands means 500,000 tonnes of silt surges down our rivers and out into the Bay of Islands each year. It's a silent killer smothering shellfish beds and kelp forests, and turning rock seabeds to mud. [Read more...]

Keep marine pests out


Like possums and stoats on land, marine pests have huge potential to wreak havoc on our native marine life. Let's keep them out of the Bay of Islands! [Read more...]


Good reads:


no take vs partial protection

put the big ones back


bring on the science

where to see lots of fish


know where you can dump



Oral histories, early writings and the first photos all tell us that the Bay of Islands used to be teeming with fish. And yet, we now often hear “the fishing is better than it’s been in years”. This mismatch is known as the shifting baseline syndrome, and is well documented in fisheries around the world. Basically, we don’t look back very far when we make our comparisons. Generally comparing today's fishing with what we remember from just 10 years ago. The result is a kind of generational amnesia. Our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and their forebears would each have a very different idea of what a good days fishing meant!

Here are some memories from the past to remind us that our current experience is of a hugely depleted ecosystem that urgently needs our help to restore some balance.


SNA HG 3000 caught in 4 hours 1958 NZ Herald photoThe Florence Kennedy II, a popular Auckland charter boat, returns to port in 1958 with over 3000 snapper caught by 48 anglers in a 4-h fishing trip in the Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand. Image reproduced from New Zealand Herald 1996, © with permission from APN Holdings.



Zane Greya

"We came into the Cape (Brett) about four o’Clock. There were fifteen boats around the great rock (Piercy) and five were fast to fish. Eight of the other boats had one or two Swordfish onboard.
Zane Grey, Tales of the Anglers El Dorado – Gamefishing in the BOI (1926)


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"We proceed to Bird Rock. Acres of Kahawai were darkening the surface and myriad little white gulls were hovering and fluttering over the top of them. The fish raised a white cauldron on the water and a sound exactly like a brook rushing over stones. The birds were screaming. Every now and then the kahawai leaped as one to escape some enemy underneath and made a prolonged roar in the water."
Zane Grey, Tales of the Anglers El Dorado – Gamefishing in the BOI (1926)

"The total number of sharks caught by the fleet, including those taken at the pakoki held a fortnight later, was about 7000 - an average of about 65 per canoe for each of the two trips"
RH Matthews, 1910 - address to Muriwhenua Fishing Report, Waitangi Tribunal

"At the Cape, a half dozen or more boats caught nine marlin. One boat had five fish on; and twice it had a double header, which is two strikes simultaneously and in each case only one fish was landed."
Zane Grey, Tales of the Anglers El Dorado – Gamefishing in the BOI (1926)


A fishing expedition by three anglers in a dinghy 500m off Paihia's Ti Beach in the 1950's. What would our catch be now in the same spot? What will it be like in 20 years time?

Before overfishing, crayfish were so abundant in tidal pools and inshore reefs a commercial boat load like this was easy to catch.

circa 1910 nat lib 23039658 cropped

The average size of snapper in pre-European middens was 50 cm long! When did you last get a catch like this with a handline from the shore, like this wahine did in about 1910.

Today we have to go to deep water to catch a Hapuku. However, they naturally inhabit water as shallow as 15 meters and were once easily caught close to shore.

Latest news

Wrecked Reefs by John Booth - Russell Review Article

Just where does the buck stop for shallow-reef kelp loss in the Bay of Islands? It has crept up on us. The process has been slow and steady –…

Bay of Islands Recreational Fishing Report - John Booth

Recreational fishing in the Bay of Islands: intense pressure contributes to stress on fishstocks and to local ecological degradation. By John Booth,…

Kina and their effect on algal communities in the Bay of Islands

Rocky shores around New Zealand have areas in water depths of between about three to eleven metres where there is little (and sometimes no) kelp. In…

Maunganui Bay rahui rolled for a further two years!

A huge thank you to Ngati Kuta and Patukeha hapu for intitiating and extending this rahui. The area has now been protected since 2010. The Ministry…

Join Fish Forever

nudi spongeAll of us with an interest and love of Tangaroa, let's work together and take on the challenge of marine protection for the Bay.

Annual Membership Rates:
Student/concession - $15.00
Affiliate (please name organistation) - $15.00
Individual - $25.00
Family - $35.00

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