Caught a feed lately? Seen any mushy fleshed snapper?

Report your catch to LegaSea. Mushy or not.

Snapper, the scavengers of the ocean, are one of the least fussy fish when it comes to food. For many Kiwis they symbolise a classic summer day out fishing and a feed for the whanau.

Disturbing reports of skinny and pale, mushy fleshed snapper being caught along the east coast of the North Island over the past year indicate this hardy species is struggling – even worse, they could be starving. This may signal an imbalanced ecosystem. 

Mushy milky fleshed snapper the right. Photo rights: LegaSea

Analysis by the Animal Health Authority and Ministry for Primary Industries suggested that the mushy flesh is a symptom of chronic malnutrition.

It is important that we gather data regarding how often you may be catching mushy flesh fish to understand how widespread this problem is and communicate it to the public.

In October 2023 we reached out to the public, sharing a survey to find out about your most recent fishing trip and whether or not you had caught mushy flesh fish. We had great feedback with over 200 responses.

The Hauraki Gulf showed to have the highest proportion of sightings of mushy flesh fish. So, It is important that we continue to monitor this. This is only possible if local fishers like yourself share this information with us.

We have recently reopened the survey form where you can submit information about your catch. On your most recent fishing trip did any of your fish have mushy white flesh? Or even if your fish were fine, we still want to know.

Do your part for our fishery and submit your data using the LegaSea survey form.