The Great NZ Eel Competition – Winners

In 2018 we held a competition to highlight the amazing Long Fin Eel in New Zealand. There was NZ$500 up for grabs for the best eel video, and also NZ$500 for the best eel photo / caption. The winning video was by Lennox Crowe of Blenheim, and the winning image by Andy Belcher of Te Puke. Both are below. Thank you so much to all of you who entered. And any kiwis reading this, please do your best to encourage others not to catch these amazing animals – they face so many threats and their numbers continue to decline. Lets encourage our kids (and adults) to respect them rather than catching them.

Winner – Best Eel Video. This is the winning video, by Lennox Crowe of Blenheim. An extraordinary effort really. He filmed it, edited it, featured in it, and also played the guitar. He’s only 13 years old as well, and we were quite literally blown away with how well he put this all together.

Winner – Best Eel Photo. This is the winning photo by Andy Belcher of Te Puke. He’s a professional photographer which goes some way to explaining how come it is so amazing. We did look at so many good shots from kids as well, but in the end this image was just too great to pass up.

This video was by Kevin Belcher and filmed in Silverstream in North Canterbury. The water is super clear which is ideal for eels. This creek is spring fed, although water quality degrades rapidly as you move away from the source. A major threat to the eels is reduced water quality due to farming intensification, especially dairy, something Kevin highlighted in his submission.

This is Kyle Mottram’s video. His family have had these pet eels (in the wild) for 5 years now.

This is the original competition video we put together.

Some interesting facts about the Longfin Eel

    They can live to over 100 years old. The oldest living animal in New Zealand is probably an eel!
    At the end of their lives, they swim all the way to Tonga / New Caledonia to breed
    The eels breed only once and then die.
    The baby eels drift on ocean currents all the way back to New Zealand. This takes about 18 months
    Once the baby eels arrive in New Zealand, they work their way up creeks and rivers to find their new homes
    Our eel numbers are declining due to hydro dams, commercial fishing, habitat loss and pollution
    The Maori name for Longfin eel is “tuna kuwharuwharu”. Or often just called “Tuna”.
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