Whitebait is an important part of the West Coast lifestyle and tradition and have an important place in Poutini Ngāi Tahu custom and diet. Whitebait is also an important recreational and commercial resource.
What is whitebait?
Whitebait are the juveniles of six species of fish. Five of these are migratory galaxiids: inanga, banded kōkopu, giant kōkopu, kōaro and shortjaw kōkopu. The sixth species is common smelt.
What are the rules?
The Department of Conservation is responsible for managing New Zealand’s whitebait fisheries, and you can find the whitebait rules and regulations for the West Coast.