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Friday, August 3, 2012

Anatoki eels

A natural attraction

(Letter to the Editor Southland Times August 3)

Jack Murrell beat me to the punch with regard the rather ridiculous letter written by Robert Guyton. Since when has a steam with a few eels in it been a natural attraction? I expect a comment from Ngai Tahu - but I won't hold my breath.


Jet black with skin like velvet, the Anatoki Eels are one of New Zealand's oldest tourist attractions. They've been fed in the pristine waters of the Anatoki River since 1914.
Today, we continue to respect and care for this unique wild population of about 50 New Zealand long-finned eels. Some of these gentle creatures are over 90 years old.
Experience for yourself the relationship between free wild creatures and humans, as you hand-feed them blancmange and mince- just as Maggi McCallum first did 90 years ago.
Learn more about these Golden Bay icons and their founders- Maggi and Edna McCallum in our eel museum with audio-visual display.


Anonymous said...

Can you please clarify your position on commercial eel sales?
If they were abundant would you still be concerned?
If they were only sold as human food would you be concerned?
Is it harvest and sales at all or just the or just how tourists view Southland/NZ that is the problem?
Or are there other reasons?
Thanks in advance.

Shunda barunda said...

Yep, 'John Husband syndrome' is rife in many communities in NZ.

Anonymous said...

What syndrome? You will have to be less cryptic Shunda.

robertguyton said...

Anonymous - certainly. Not as concerned. The issues I'm highlighting are around the integrity of the industry, the poor perception by the public of the native fishes, the pet food market and it's value, weighed up against the future of an endangered species, the excitement that seemed to result from the visit of a 'pet-food mogul' and several other aspects. I'm happy to discuss those, but have to fly right now to collect my daughter.

robertguyton said...

I've sent my response to Mr Husband's letter to the Times already, Shunda. Perhaps a debate will ensue.
Weel see!

robertguyton said...

Shunda's not being cryptic, Anonymous. "John Husband Syndrome" is widely recognised in the medical world.

Anonymous said...

Robert, perks of parenthood. Flying.
So in that highlighting are you trying to say the public don't value our native fisheries? Do we over value commercial interest?
Are long finned eels endangered?

Anonymous said...

Also I still don't understand the syndrome comment. Must be a private joke?

robertguyton said...

Private joke, yes.

"So in that highlighting are you trying to say the public don't value our native fisheries?"

Absolutely, without question, yes.
How many people know an eel is a fish, for starters. "The public" is almost completely unaware of the eel fishery, the history of eel fishing in Aotearoa, the present-day eel industry, the extraordinary eel life cycle, the state of the eel populations now...for starters.

"Do we over value commercial interest?"

We are very much encouraged to, Anonymous. Certainly, there is vey little exposure to the idea that eels are a valuable facet of our native biodiversity 'web'.

"Are long finned eels endangered?"

Most certainly they are, Anonymous. Commonsense would tell you that even looking at the extraordinary loss of habitat eels have suffered over the past 150 years muat tll you that they have lost significantly. Improving their desirability and hyping up the market for them as dead fish, can't help.

JayWontdart said...

feed these nice eels tofu :-)

Vegan petfood :-)