Re: Broadbill in kaikoura


About 8 years ago i was diving at racecourse reef in kaikoura.The sea was as flat and clean as i can ever remember seeing it, and the viz was just amazing.I was diving on my own with my mate up on the beach waiting.When I returned to shore I started to sort out the crays I had when I noticed a disturbance in the water that at first I thought was a seal about to beach itself.Then a fin broke the surface and I said to some passers by that a shark was cruising along the shore so we all ran along the beach to get a better look.However, the “shark” disappeared only for it to show itself again further out in the bay and at that time it became obvious that a shark it was not.The tail was perhaps a foot or two out of the water,sweeping from side to side and it was sickle like as was the dorsal.It came in close and started to cruise in a circular pattern, while diving and surfacing at regular intervals.We couldn’t work out what it was but we thought it may have been a massive tuna or marlin, but in kaikoura? Then it dawned on me that it was most likely a broadie that was perhaps sick or wounded and perhaps not far from death.In the end we just left it there,but the next day I was in the fisherman’s loft at the same time as Peter Shutt,and after having retold what we’d seen we had a look at a NZ fish species book, and the only species that had fins matching those of the fish we seen was the broadbill!!.Also,on an old episode of gone fish’n a charter skipper up north who had been a commercial fisherman for 20 odd years, said that broadbill where common right round our coastline..Kaikoura could be a hot spot but nobody targets them,much like the west coast tuna fishery up until a few years ago!!