Gallery - BaitHouse

All of these images have been taken at the Island Bay Marine Education center, located in the old bait house right at the end of the Island Bar Parade. It is mildly ironic that a building which was used to store the live bait for catching fish is now dedicated to preserving fish life and letting the public appreciate more the wildlife they have living near them just offshore. This is run by an enthusiastic staff of mostly volunteers who are very passionate about the fish they are taking care of. They were infectiously keen to tell you about the lifecycle of any fish and discuss the unique characteristics they all have.

I think this is a sea perch.

Closeup of the sea perch. Like most of these fish it was quite alert and wondering what the heck I was doing outside the tank.

Closeup snapper face. These snapper are around twelve years old.

Two blue cod sitting on the tank bottom. The cod spent a lot of time sitting watching and only occasionally moving.

They might sit on the bottom alot but they are always watching what is going on.

Blue cod lurking under a rock.

Closeup of a groper face.

Full body shot of a groper.

A snapper looking lovely with a groper in the background.

Full body snapper, their silver sheen shifted colour dramaticly as they moved.

This Trumpetter was a very active fish, constantly swiming. Combine that with its fairly large size and it was tricky to get a decent shot of him.

Snapper again.

Rock lobsters!

This is almost waving to us. For some reason a B-52's song keeps creeping into my head whenever I look at this.

I think these are two sea perch at differing stages of life, the younger being darker in colour. Or it could be just two varieties.

Behind the younger sea perch you can see the a soldier fish lying flat. It seems these fish often sleep in unusual positions including upside down and nose first into the gravel.

This tube anenome normally lives in fairly deep water so is a bit unusual to see.

This is just all about the soldier fish's delicate fins. This was another fish on the move at the time, although as can be seen in the sea perch photographs these fish stop and sleep.

Like most of the fish in the center this one was curious about whomever was looking at it. Quite possibly hoping I was about to put some food in the tank.

All in all this center is well worth a visit. They are open most Sundays from 10am to 3pm with entry costing $2 per person. Fundraising is underway to build a bigger exhibition center in Lyall Bay at the old Maranui quarry site.

Philip R. Banks
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