Kia ora whānau,
I would like to take this opportunity to thank whānau of Te Rūnanga o Waihao for their support during my travels to Buenos Aires, Argentina. I would like to express my gratitude to all for giving me the opportunity to share knowledge about the giant kōkopu (galaxias argenteus) and inanga (galaxias argenteus) – two of our precious and unique taonga, at the 7th International Symposium on Fish Endocrinology.

It was the first time this conference had been held in the Southern Hemisphere and it covered a range of research areas that included aquaculture (fish farming), fish health and fish ecology (the environment that fish live in). It was an excellent opportunity for researchers, postdoctoral fellows and students to gather from all over the world and present research results, interact and make connections with other experts that study fish endocrinology and increase the awareness of the species they study.

I have dedicated the last three years to researching the reproductive biology and the captive breeding of these species for both conservation and potential commercial purposes. Despite completing my Master of Science at the University of Otago in 2011, under the invaluable supervision of Dr Mark Lokman and Associate Professor Gerry Closs, I am still researching whitebait amidst the spare moments of my current doctoral research investigating various aspects of hāpuku aquaculture.

This year’s batch of kōkopu whitebait has just grown to the right size for eating but instead of being destined for the frying pan, I plan to keep these for further captive breeding purposes.

I was honoured to represent the University of Otago and New Zealand at the 7th International Symposium on Fish Endocrinology and proud to be of Kāti Māmoe, Waitaha and Kāi Tahu descent. The ambition of my research is to help contribute to the future conservation and preservation of these taonga for us and our children after us – Mō tātou, ā, mō kā uri ā muri ake nei.

Nā Matt Wylie.