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Topic: Te Papa fish collection

Te Papa holds New Zealand’s national reference collection of fishes. There, three fish scientists look after, study, and add to the collection of 150,000 alcohol-preserved fish specimens in jars, buckets and tanks, some collected over seventy years ago. This is the repository where New Zealand’s marine and freshwater are scientifically described and classified.

Fish specialists on the staff of Te Papa provide information on the naming (taxonomy), biogeography, evolution, life history, and ecology of our fish and fish communities. They are identifying new species of New Zealand fishes at the rate of about one per fortnight. Many fish brought in for identification come from commercial fishers working in New Zealand’s offshore exclusive economic zone.

Text originally published in Tai Awatea, Te Papa's onfloor multimedia database.

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