MFish observer plays a vital role in colossal squid’s journey from Antarctic to Te Papa
18 December 2008
The Ministry of Fisheries is proud of the role its on-board observer program played in the colossal squid exhibition, which opened last Saturday, 13th December, in Te Papa.
The colossal squid was caught on-board the New Zealand commercial vessel, San Aspiring, which was fishing for Antarctic toothfish. Also on board were an MFish and a Commission for Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) observer.
“We are proud to have been involved in the journey of the colossal squid from the Antarctic to Te Papa”, said Wayne McNee Chief Executive of the Ministry of Fisheries, “It is a gift we were delighted to be part of giving to Te Papa, the people of New Zealand and the world”
The 4.2m long squid arrived in New Zealand in February 2007 and was gifted to New Zealand’s national museum, Te Papa. Since its arrival it has been frozen, defrosted, examined and is now being moved to a permanent purpose built display tank at Te Papa. It is the only colossal squid on public display in the world.
“The MFish observers play a vital role in monitoring fishing practices and catch. Most importantly they make sure that boats adhere to the strict conservation rules for fishing in the Antarctic” said Mr. McNee.
The observers also take part in ongoing research by tagging and releasing fish, undertaking biological sampling, taking specimens and monitoring other vessel sightings. As part of a vessel’s permit, observers can retain samples taken at sea. In the case of the colossal squid the MFish observer did that with co-operation and ongoing logistical support from Sanford Ltd.
The exhibition runs for three years from 13 December 2008, for information on the exhibition visit www.squid.tepapa.govt.nz. You can find out about colossal squid and the MFish observer program by clicking on this link.