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Mon May 28, 2018, 11:46 PM

New Zealand 'marine heatwave' brings tropical fish from 3,000km away [View all]

Out-of-place Queensland groper seen off New Zealand coast after water temperatures soared

Eleanor Ainge Roy in Dunedin
Mon 28 May 2018 20.53 EDT

Rare tropical fish from Australia have been spotted in New Zealand waters after a record-breaking hot summer and warm ocean temperatures lured the creatures across the Tasman sea.

The Queensland groper, also known as the giant grouper, is the aquatic emblem of the state and was spotted swimming around the wreck of the HMNZ Canterbury in the Bay of Islands on Sunday, more than 3,000 kilometres away from its usual cruising spots on the coral reefs and estuaries off the Queensland coast.

New Zealand experienced its hottest summer on record this year, largely propelled by a “marine heatwave” during which sea temperatures rose as much as six degrees in some areas, and 2-4 in the region where the groper was spotted.

Figures released by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research found the average temperature during January was 20.3C – more than three degrees above normal.


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Reply New Zealand 'marine heatwave' brings tropical fish from 3,000km away [View all]
Judi Lynn May 2018 OP
BigmanPigman May 2018 #1
Canoe52 May 2018 #2
Duppers May 2018 #3
Duppers May 2018 #4