A healthy snapper, left, next to one of the ‘zombie’ snapper. Photo Sam Erickson

Fisheries New Zealand has received five reports of ‘zombie’ snapper since a fisherwoman spoke to media about catching two in the Kaipara Harbour on 9 June. As of this week, Fisheries New Zealand science and information director Simon Lawrence says there have been 11 reports of fisherpeople catching snapper with sunken, bloodshot milky eyes, and that appear to be missing flesh and lacking the normal mucus layer. “These reports have come mostly from the upper North Island and Northland region [but] there have been a small number from elsewhere in the North Island.”

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