There are two New Zealand species in the Retropinnidae family: the common smelt (Retropinna retropinna) and Stokell’s smelt (Stokellia anisodon), and it is difficult to tell them apart. Both have a distinct cucumber smell. Common smelt swim in large, roving shoals in estuaries. Māori, who knew them as pōrohe and paraki, caught them and dried them in the sun.
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Department of Conservation
Photograph by Stephen Moore
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