Te Papa and Auckland Museum scientists discuss how to proceed with the sunfish dissection. Photographer: Ruth Hendry © Te Papa

What have we learnt from our day of sunfish science? Sunfish are very hard to sex! The best we can say is that it’s a boy. We think. We’ll have to wait for the test results to determine conclusively whether it’s male or female. Jellyfish are delicious Although we can’tRead more

Taking a closer look at the sunfish. Photographer: Michael Hall © Te Papa

Te Papa recently received a rare sunfish specimen from Auckland Museum, so we decided to find out more about these mysterious ocean-dwelling animals. Here are our fascinating facts: 1.Sunfish don’t have a tail! Some people call them a ‘gigantic swimming head’ (which seems a bit rude). Instead of a tailRead more

Andrew Stewart, Te Papa's lead scientist on the sunfish project. Photographer: Michael Hall © Te Papa

What’s fishy, heavy, rarely seen and now at Te Papa? A sunfish – the world’s heaviest bony fish! This is a common sunfish, also called an ocean sunfish. Our specimen is the rarer sharp-tailed sunfish. When Andrew Stewart got an email with some very exciting pictures from Tom Trnski atRead more

This week the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment released a report on the status and management of the longfin eel. It was entitled “On a pathway to extinction?” The report found that the management of longfin eels by New Zealand government agencies was inadequate and failing. It further recommended theRead more

Three Kings Expedition collects yellow weever, Parapercis gilliesi (family Pinguipedidae), a new record for the area, 13 April 2013. Te Papa

By Clive Roberts The Te Papa fish team currently has two members participating in the Three Kings Islands Marine Expedition. Skilled in fieldwork techniques, collecting, photographing and preserving fishes, Vincent Zintzen and Jeremy Barker are busy underwater surveying and sampling fishes, invertebrates and algae with colleagues during the day, andRead more

Julien Collet CNRS Research Assistant keeps an eye out for whales and seabirds from the top deck of the Marion Dufresne. Image: Susan Waugh, © Te Papa

Our visit to the Crozet Islands, a French Sub-Antarctic nature reserve at 41 deg S in the Indian Ocean started yesterday, embarking on the RV Marion Dufresne. We’re steaming straight south from La Reunion, towards the Crozet Islands, with landfall due in about 6 days. Overnight we made good steamingRead more

Tuna for sale in Tsukiji market in Tokyo, March 2012. Photo: Susan Waugh.

Work at the fisheries Convention on the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna meeting on bycatch and ecological effects of fishing has progressed in Tokyo in March. The group met to consider ways of reducing seabird, turtle and shark bycatch in fishing for southern bluefin tuna around the southern Ocean. AlbatrossRead more

Day 6:  last stations off the Otago Peninsula sampled. We are ready to move towards the Auckland Islands. We have been blessed with good weather conditions for the last six days which allowed us to complete quickly our diversity survey between 50m and 1200m depth off the Otago Peninsula. WeRead more

Day 2: sampling off Otago Peninsula. Our survey onboard the MV Tranquil Image has started after a rough transit from Wellington to Dunedin. After a very successful day 1 deploying camera and traps in the shallow (50 and 100 m), today we have started exploring the deep canyons of theRead more

Dalatias licha attacking hagfish

Recently, I published with my colleagues from Te Papa Fish Team and Massey University some interesting findings about a fantastic group of species: hagfishes. Those primitive deep-sea fishes repulse any predator attack using their slime. I present examples of how hagfish stop the attack from shark several times their sizes.Read more