Bream me up: it’s dinner time for this fur seal

A fur seal turns a Ray’s bream into an evening meal in the Andersons Bay Inlet in Dunedin.

While it is uncommon to see a fur seal in the inner city inlet, it is far more unusual for bream, normally an off-shore fish living in the Bay of Plenty or Cook Strait, to be found in the harbour.

Ray's bream have been appearing in the shallows around Otago Harbour and on its shores since the middle of March.

University of Otago marine science department lecturer and physical oceanographer Robert Smith said a strong marine heatwave in the waters around the Otago Peninsula since about mid-March might be one reason why the fish were turning up.

Average water temperatures for this time of year were usually 13degC, but at present they were 15degC.

This was a substantial spike, and could be associated with the displacement of marine species, he said.

Peter Scott, who had been a commercial fisherman for 35 years, said it was “highly unusual” to see Ray’s bream in the harbour, and he had caught about 20 in the past week.

“They’re just splashing around near shore.

“I go down there and scoop them up with a net,” he said.


That's a sea lion but thanks for playing.