Module 1: What Lies Beneath

Module 1

About this experience

How changes over the past decades have changed the freshwater ecology and caused a dramatic decline in many freshwater indigenous species such as Koura, galaxiids and eels. The ecosystems that have existed over many millennia are fragile and a change in one part of the overall system can have flow on effects affecting many other species and the quality of the environment itself. An example is the fact that there are few if any regulations governing most native species meaning that they can be overfished such as what has happened with whitebait and eels. 

Clean unpolluted water is essential for life.  Yet it is often neglected in our planning and thinking. As a consequence, the rivers and lakes we treasure as national taonga are often in a very poor state due to bad practices. What is alarming is that the change from being a pristine waterway to a dangerously polluted and toxic resource can happen quickly but may take many generations to repair.

Look at how the introduction of trout has impacted many aspects of our society and ecology. Now a huge industry around the country that employs several thousand people the economic impact of the freshwater fishing industry is a very important aspect of our economy. But trout have also caused huge environmental changes as well.
Utilising the many wonderful exhibitions in the museum and the stories from the past generations we will explore how trout came to NZ, where they came from and how they were spread to almost all freshwater systems throughout the country. Why were they introduced and what has been the result?