The chief executive of a new venture to farm whitebait says it will help conserve dwindling wild stocks.
Whitebait stocks have been declining with ecologists warning poor water quality could put the fish at risk of extinction.
Premium Whitebait chief executive Jeremy Gardiner said it spent eight years working on farming technology with the Mahurangi Technical Institute.
He said the original project was to restock some streams affected by the Auckland northern motorway extension and the company can now breed all five species of the whitebait.
Mr Gardiner said the technology also allowed it to commercially farm whitebait with the first harvest due in September.