3 Apr 2012

Rain helps Northland eel population

7:11 pm on 3 April 2012

A Tai Tokerau elder says the longer it rains this autumn, the better it will be for the region's endangered eels.

Recent floods in the north, and continual rain since then, have so far prevented the usual commercial and customary harvest of eels in the Wairua near Whangarei.

Hoori Tuhiwai of Te Parawhau says the rain has been "a godsend" at a time when eel numbers are dwindling and fewer of the mature breeding eels are making it out of the swamps to the sea.

He says he's seen only eight this season and if it hadn't been so wet, the hapu would have imposed a rahui or customary ban on the harvest of the fish.

The weather forecast for Northland is for rain and showers until after Easter.