There are over 10,000 fishes in the Auckland Museum collections. They range in size, from larvae only 2 mm long to a 4 m oarfish. Although most are from northern New Zealand, we also have many fishes from the regional South Pacific islands and other parts of New Zealand. These fishes are almost all kept in a fluid of alcohol spirits that preserves them for hundreds of years, for future study.
Most fish have a label or tag with a unique number that links it to all the information on the fish: who caught it, where it was caught and when, what species it is, how big it is, and sometimes even its sex, a photo or an x-ray. However, if the label or tag is missing, or has a number that has lost its meaning, there is no way of matching the fish with its information.
Image: Ka’a (Ellochelon vaigiensis) Squaretail mullet MA45982 collected at Aitutaki in 1926