Story: Whitebait and whitebaiting

Netting kōaro (1st of 3)

Netting kōaro

Kōaro are one of the whitebait species. Māori harvested whitebait from Lake Taupō and are said to have taken kōaro by the hundredweight (50.8 kilograms), using big seine nets. In this scene, one man is using a long-handled dip net, while others are hauling a seine net. Kōaro were important in the diet of those living around the lake, and were also offered to early European visitors such as Governor George Grey. Today it is hard to find a single shoal of kōaro in Lake Taupō or other lakes, let alone catch such numbers.

Using this item

Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Reference: George French Angas, The New Zealanders illustrated. London: Thomas M'Lean, 1847, plate 55
Hand-coloured lithograph by George French Angas

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How to cite this page:

Carl Walrond, 'Whitebait and whitebaiting - History and conservation', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 22 April 2024)

Story by Carl Walrond, published 24 Sep 2007, reviewed & revised 23 Jun 2023