Fisheries in Highridge are closed for the winter due to severe weather.
It’s also one of the most popular whale watching spots in New Zealand and the area has been a favourite with locals and visitors alike.
But there are still plenty of other options for whale watchers.
This is one of them.
“It’s a very well-known whale watching spot,” said Rianna O’Donnell, the chief of fisheries at Highridge.
“We’re very proud of the high levels of interest, and we’re just trying to get the word out and keep it as low as possible.”
The high-quality bortelle caught here is one that is often sold on the market as being the best.
That’s because the species has been described as one of New Zealand’s best, and the Highridge area is known for its quality, O’Connor said.
The bortells are known as a “mosaic” fish because they all have distinctive, bright colours and distinct shapes, which is why you can often see them all around the same place.
The species is also known for a large number of distinctive fin rays.
These have been identified as having been collected from the whale, and are used to mark the area where they were caught.
“The fish is so unique that we’ve just got to be careful with how we capture them,” O’Brien said.
“They’re very hard to get because they’re quite sensitive to the environment.”
The bard of the Highview region is a young female bard named Tawny who was captured from the waters off Wairarapa on October 4.
The bard is now being kept at the Wairaraa Marine Park.
The Highridge bortels are an example of how New Zealand is continuing to adapt to the changing conditions, Oddson said.
They’re now part of the wider ecosystem of New Britain, and it’s a welcome change from years ago, when the area was home to the largest number of bortel species in the country.
“The New Zealand marine park is the largest marine park in the world and that is an example for us of how to protect biodiversity,” Oddington said.
“We’re getting a lot of recognition and interest in our marine parks and the whale and bortelling is one area where we’re seeing the benefit of that.”
A number of species are being moved to the area for the first time in the past two years, with the High Rivers Whale Sanctuary being one of many new additions.
“That’s one of those places where people are really excited about it,” Ode said.
But despite all the improvements, the bortles aren’t getting the same treatment as they once did.
“It has been the whale watching site for so long,” Oed said.”[But] it’s definitely getting more attention.
Now that the water level has fallen a little bit, it’s become less of a problem, but we’ll have to see how the weather stays in the forecast.”
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