Ramp inventors hope to bring whitebait back

By Aroha Treacher

With whitebait numbers declining across the country the answer to repopulating the famed fishy delicacy could lie in the installation of plastic ramps along waterways.  

The ramps are fitted with mussel spat ropes and have groves that give the whitebait and other freshwater fish species a helping hand to migrate.

They were designed by Dan Fake, resource technician at the Hawke's Bay Regional Council and at $300 a-piece they may prove to be a cheap alternative for helping to increase whitebait numbers.

Barriers like culverts and weirs are the biggest threat to whitebait because they prevent the species from migrating and many end up dying.

First implemented in Hawke's Bay, other councils around the country have shown interest in purchasing the ramps to help boost their whitebait populations as well.