With a long and complex coastline scattered with countless islands, and freshwater waterways weaving all through our rugged landscape, Aotearoa really is an aquatic nation. As such, it is home to a bounty of colourful and characterful fishes. Fishes of Aotearoa is a major celebration of this fish life, set to the backdrop of all our primary underwater habitats, from freshwater rivers, lakes and wetlands, tidal environments, rocky reefs, the softer sedimentary habitat of sand and silt, and then further out, the pelagic zone of the deeper ocean. With a wonderful array of fascinating stories about all the best-known fish species, as well as descriptions of many of the wonderful and weird species not so well known, it is a captivating read. All of this is illustrated with superb underwater photography by the author and marine ecologist, Paul Caiger, and very much written for a general audience. Fishes of Aotearoa is one of the most significant books ever published about the fish life that we share this country with.
It is nearly 25 years since his first scuba dive, but Paul Caiger has been chasing fishes in streams and rockpools long before that. This naturally led to university studies in marine biology, which ultimately culminated in a PhD in the evolutionary ecology of New Zealand triplefin fishes. These were followed by post-doctoral positions in the USA researching fish acoustics and deep-sea fish biology. Dovetailing with Paul's science background has always been the creative outlet afforded by photography, and with it the ability to capture the briefest of moments in a fish's life. After a return to New Zealand and the University of Auckland, Paul is currently the diving officer at the Leigh Marine Laboratory and works on a wide range of marine research projects, as well as producing numerous scientific manuscripts and reports on fishes, and many magazine articles for the general reader.