Shortfin Eel

Shortfin eel (Anguilla australis) is one of two native eel species found in New Zealand. The length of their top fin is the same length as the bottom fin, so the ends are almost adjacent when the fish is viewed side-on. Shortfin eels usually have a silvery belly and are commonly found in rivers, lakes, wetlands and ponds throughout New Zealand but are also found in Australia, New Caledonia, Norfolk and Lord Howe Island. The species is commonly found at lower elevations and not as far inland as longfin eels, but they can still climb large obstacles such as waterfalls when they are young. Shortfin eels are highly valued for New Zealand’s commercial and customary fishery.